A Lexington, South Carolina native, Caroline Ritchie “fell in love with chemistry” during her first high school chemistry class. She began her first scientific research project early in her undergraduate career as a chemistry major at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Caroline’s scientific interests soon took a turn.
“I signed up for a biology course on a whim that quickly and unexpectedly became one of my favorite undergraduate courses,” she said. “After taking that class, I decided to apply to graduate programs that were more biology-oriented and that could directly impact the medical field.”
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and came to UT Southwestern Medical Center to pursue a Ph.D. in the Molecular Biophysics graduate program.
In her current project, Caroline is trying to understand how the proteasome is regulated in the cell, and how differences in proteasomal activity may contribute to the progression of Parkinson’s disease and other Lewy body disorders. She has been encouraged by the supportive and collaborative environment at UT Southwestern.
“I really enjoy being surrounded by so many brilliant scientists who are willing to provide valuable feedback on my project, as well as openly discuss their own work,” she said. “The collaborative environment at UT Southwestern has allowed me to learn from and work with some of the leading experts in several different fields.”
Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program
Mentor: Philip Thomas, Ph.D.