Laura McKnight

A woman standing outside named Laura McKnight

Laura McKnight

Senior Director Knight Campus Graduate Internship Program

Laura came to the University of Oregon in 2016, through the McKnight Lab in the Institute of Molecular Biology. She later became Director of the Career Development Program in IMB in conjunction with running the lab.

While earning her bachelor's degree in Chemistry in 2006 from Bucknell University, Laura worked in the lab of David Rovnyak to develop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) experiments for use in undergraduate labs, and she also used NMR to study micelles in collaboration with the analytical chemistry lab of Tim Strein. In 2012, she received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, working in the lab of David Weber. Her Ph.D. work used NMR and X-ray crystallography, along with a variety of screening techniques, to discover and refine inhibitors of the interaction between S100B and p53 for treatment of malignant melanoma. After graduate school, Laura managed the Protein Production Facility for the Institute of Protein Design at University of Washington, in conjunction with the lab of David Baker. She also has experience working in CAR T-cell design and delivery from her time at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. At University of Oregon, the McKnight lab studied transcription in yeast, with a focus on the role chromatin remodelers in transcriptional programming, and engineering novel remodeling proteins to specifically target nucleosomes in the yeast genome.

Laura is excited to bring her career development experience and scientific knowledge to the KCGIP, where she is looking forward to finding ways to best support the success of students in graduate school and beyond, and to help each program track continue to grow and thrive.