Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Stephens Science Center 342
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
Office Phone: (205) 226-4872
Office Fax: (205) 226 3078
Brief Career Background:
After studying Biology and Chemistry at the University of Montevallo, I took a position at Avanti Polar Lipids, Inc where I worked developing and validating analytical methods for GMP/GLP lipid products using a variety of instrumentation from NMR to HPLC. After 3 years at Avanti, I decided to continue my education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I earned my MS in Chemistry, teaching higherEd certification through CIRTL at UAB, and just recently earned my PhD while working for Dr. David Graves characterizing the structure and thermodynamics of non-helical DNAs. During my dissertation work, I collaborated with both Dr. Kevin Harris and Dr. Katri Selander on various projects, and it was from these projects and collaborative efforts that the biotech startup Blondin Bioscience was developed.
B.S. in Chemistry and Biology for the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Al. in 2006
M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Al in 2013
Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Al in 2015
My current research is centered on the structural and thermodynamic understanding of non-helical DNA structures, specifically the G-quadruplex, and their biological functions in the cell. In addition to studying the functions of these nucleic acids structures within the cell, the Hayden lab is also interested in the analysis of these sequences in the extracellular matrix such as cell-free DNA in serum or plasma. These uncommon secondary and tertiary structures found in the non-coding regions of DNA, such as quadruplexes, cruciforms or hairpins have been extensively investigated for their role in gene expression regulation, cancer development, and cell death. The thermodynamic stabilities of these structures are of special interest in that they can allow us a window into the complex regulation mechanisms that DNA can instill upon itself simply from its primary sequence. Recently the Hayden lab has focused on the development of isolation methods for various cell-free DNA fragments as well as the biophysical characterization of cell-free telomeric DNA fragments.Â Â Â Â In addition to my wet-lab research, I am also engaged in the development and assessment of innovative pedagogies in chemistry education. At the moment, we are investigating the impact on critical thinking as a result of incorporating blended learning strategies into the classroom for various STEM disciplines.
An introduction to the structure, chemistry, and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Areas of emphasis include enzyme catalysis, kinetics and inhibition, protein structure and function, and detailed analysis of metabolic pathways. Three lectures per week. (Also listed as CH 308, this course may be counted for credit in either biology or chemistry.)
CH418 Medicinal Chemistry
Applications of organic chemistry and cellular biology to modern medicine. Students will utilize a variety of resources from peer reviewed literature, texts, and guest speakers to explore and discuss topics related to medicinal chemistry. Topics to be covered include drug discovery and design, drug delivery, drug targets, and the mechanisms of drug reactions in the cell.
CH428 Advanced Biochemistry
Study and application of advanced topics and current research methods in biochemistry. This course allows students to explore the physiology of the human body at the molecular level and the theory behind current biochemical methodologies and instrumentation through the development or modification of bio-analytical methods to test a hypothesis. Two lectures and one laboratory per week.
CH120-L GenChem Laboratory
CH210-L Organic Chemistry I Lab