What if you could see inside a deadly virus? Understand its machinery and learn just where to throw the wrench? What if you could get all the scientists to combine forces to design a better wrench — fast?
This is her quest.
Erica is Professor of Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses like Ebola are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for antiviral defence. Her team has revealed the structures by which the viruses drive themselves into cells, how human antibodies can defeat them, and has solved the only available crystal structure of the entire human antibody itself. A recent discovery revised a central dogma of molecular biology by proving that molecules re-shape themselves into different structures for different functions. Her work has been recognized at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, by the Surhain Sidhu award for the most outstanding contribution to the field of diffraction by a person within five years of the Ph.D and multiple other research awards. She serves on the Scientific Leadership Board of the Global Virus Network and is the Director of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium. This organization, the VIC, united scientists around the world to understand and provide antibody treatments against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other deadly threats.