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Vivien Yee

Vivien Yee

Hometown:

Vancouver, Canada

Role at Department:

Associate Professor

Relationship between molecular structure and biochemical function

Our lab is interested in studying the relationship between molecular structure and biochemical function of biologically and medically important proteins.

Cool to have a visual interpretation of biochemistry in action

Protein structural studies allow us to speculate on chemical mechanisms by highlighting interactions between atoms and molecules, conformational changes that may occur during a reaction, and specific residues which may be crucial for function. It’s cool to have a visual interpretation of biochemistry in action, and to think about how many of these specific chemical processes must combine to make complex biological functions possible.

A good fit

If a student is interested in chemistry, and enjoys visualizing how biochemical processes might occur, then structural studies would be a very good fit. Also, our lab is really good at eating ridiculous quantities of food together.

Share the excitement of new understanding

It’s fun to witness the enthusiasm of our students. When a bright undergraduate realizes that (s)he loves research and starts exploring graduate schools, it’s a genuine pleasure to discuss possibilities and then to celebrate when the student decides on a program to join after graduation. When a graduate student starts analyzing his/her results to determine what they all mean, it’s really fun to share in the excitement of new understanding. I am very proud of each of my graduate students, and it’s a bit of a thrill thinking of what fantastic things they might do after they move on.

Bright and ambitious students

Case students are bright and ambitious – this is a powerful combination that can bring energy to a class and to a lab. I’ve really enjoyed the enthusiasm and appreciated the hard work that students have brought to my lab.

I’m very approachable

I think I’m very approachable. I have spent a lot of time in my office going over notes with students after class. I also understand how important it is to balance the personal and professional halves of our lives, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time listening to advisees to help them think out some of the occasional confusion in their lives.

Bright futures

My graduate students are continuing in science as postdoctoral researchers. Several former postdoctoral fellows are now faculty in other universities. Some of my undergraduates have gone on to medical school and others to graduate school.

Big city cultural benefits without the big city headaches

Cleveland has most big city cultural benefits without the big city headaches. Everything is very accessible – no big traffic jams or long drives to get to parks, concerts, museums, etc.