Edward O'Brien joins PSU Faculty
Ed O’Brien is an assistant professor of Chemistry. His research interests focus on addressing questions of fundamental biological importance at the molecular and cellular length scales by developing and applying theoretical and computational tools rooted in the fields of chemistry, physics and computer science in close connection with experimental data generated by collaborators. He is currently using these methods to understand protein behavior during and shortly after their synthesis by the ribosome. This is a critical period in the life of a protein because the manner in which it is synthesized can have a profound effect on cellular health. One overarching goal of his research program is to understand, model and predict the influence of translation and co-translational processes on nascent proteome behavior, which will impact fields such as biomedicine and biotechnology. Before joining the faculty at Penn State, O’Brien was a postdoctoral scholar at University of Cambridge. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland College Park in 2008 and completed an undergraduate degree at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in 2002. O’Brien’s awards and honors include an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF EAPSI Graduate Fellowship, NIH GPP Graduate Fellowship, EPSRC (UK) grant, Royal Society (UK) University Research Fellowship, and BBSRC (UK) David Phillip’s Fellowship.