Research Scientists & Postdocs
Dr. Jiafeng "Jeff" Geng was born in a small town in northeastern China. He did his undergraduate study in Chemistry at Zhejiang University in China and continued his graduate research at Georgia State University, where he earned his PhD in 2015. His research at GSU lay at the interface of chemistry and biology, spanning a wide range of topics including mechanistic enzymology of metabolic pathways, protein cofactor biogenesis, and biosynthesis of natural products. His current postdoctoral research with the Barry lab is centered on mechanistic studies of biological electron transfer reactions. Specifically, he focuses on proton-couple transfer (PCET) reactions involved in DNA synthesis and repair mediated by ribonucleotide reductase as well as in photolytic water oxidation catalyzed by photo synthetic reaction centers.
Udita was born and raised in West Bengal, India. Her undergraduate major was Chemistry (IIT, Kharagpur). She joined the graduate program at Georgia Tech in Fall 2012. In the Barry lab, she has been studying the dynamics of the membrane protein Photosystem II. Specifically, she is looking into the role of different cofactors in photosynthetic oxygen evolution. The technique she primarily uses is reaction induced FTIR spectroscopy.
Zhanjun was born and raised in Shanxi, China. He received his bachelor of science degree at Renmin University in China. After joining the Barry lab in 2012, his research has been focused on cyro-spectroscopic studies of photosystem II.
Jiayuan, “Nancy” was born and raised in Beijing, China. Her undergraduate major was Chemistry (China Agricultural University). She joined the graduate program at Georgia Tech in Fall 2016. In the Barry lab, her research has been focused on structure studies of photosystem II.
Tyler was raised in Woodstock, Georgia by his wonderful parents. As a Kirbo Scholar at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, he received a B.S. in Chemistry where he engineered amperometric biosensors with Dr. Alice H. Suroviec. Currently, his research seeks to understand biological electron transfer through the design and characterization of small biomimetic peptides. This work investigates the mechanisms by which aromatic amino acid radicals are tightly controlled in biological reactions. He uses a combination of voltammetry, EPR, CD, transient absorption, and Raman spectroscopies to study these peptide models.
Yusuf is from Warner Robins, GA. He received an Associate's degree from Middle Georgia State University and transferred to Georgia Tech. Majoring in Biology, he graduated and decided to pursue a PhD with a concentration in Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology. His research focueses on Photosystem II structure and function, determined by many biochemical and biophysical methods. Primary technique utilizes electron microscopy.
Atlee was born in Atlanta, Georgia and completed his bachelor's degree at Berry College working with Dr. Dominic Qualley and nucleic binding proteins in retroviruses. He finished his undergraduate degree with an ACS-certified degree in Biochemistry. His current work involves ribonucleotide reducatase, which catalyzes the production of deoxyribonucleotides in all cells. Ribonucleotide reductase is the target of anti-cancer therapeutics. This protein uses a tyrosyl radical-diferric cofactor as a radical initiator. The Barry group seeks to understand how the oxidizing power of the intermediary tyrosyl free radical is controlled using reaction-induced FT-IR spectroscopy to gain insight into the movements of the electron and proton and describe the protein conformational landscape associated with the transfer.
Sara is from Orlando, Florida and graduated Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2017. After working for two years with the Barry lab as an undergraduate researcher, she has decided to continue her research as a full-time technician. Sara's work focuses on the significance of intrinsically disordered proteins on the stabilization of the oxygen evolving complex of photosystem II.
Chiagoziem “Chichi” Obi was born in Nigeria, but raised in Riverdale, Georgia. She is an undergraduate 4th-year biochemistry major with a pre-health concentration. She joined the Barry Lab in 2016 and has since been studying PsbO, an intrinsically disordered luminal subunit of Photsystem II.