Nicolas N. Carrasco
BS, Brooklyn College; PhD, The City University of New York
Nicolas N. Carrasco is joining the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry this fall semester. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The City University of New York in 2005 under the supervision of Professor Zhen Huang. His dissertation research focused on the chemistry of nucleic acids. He designed and developed methodologies to synthesize DNA and RNA containing selenium modifications as a tool for X-ray crystallography. His graduate research was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and produced ten papers published in several scientific journals. He then joined the lab of Scott Strobel at Yale University as a postdoctoral fellow supported by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship. His research at Yale focused on the elucidation of the mechanism of protein synthesis by the ribosome using chemical and biochemical approaches. At Quinnipiac University, Dr. Carrasco plans to develop a research laboratory that will serve as a basic teaching tool for undergraduate students. He strongly believes undergraduate research has a transformative power as a teaching tool. His teaching philosophy is centered on the fundamental principle that students cannot learn science without practicing science, any more than a person can learn photography without taking pictures. He sees himself as a direct product of undergraduate research at a time in his life when he was considering medical school as a career choice. "Undergraduate research transformed my career path into something that I now love doing everyday," he said. His objective at Quinnipiac is to convert his research laboratory into a teaching classroom that will empower undergraduates to pursue graduate and other advanced studies in the sciences and medicine. His research will focus on the interface between chemistry and biology. Specifically, he plans to use a chemical approach to investigate the mechanism of antibiotic resistance in the ribosome.