University News

WIU Student Honors Association to Host Alumnus Michael Baxa

November 22, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - The Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Student Honors Association will host Physics and Mathematics alumnus Michael Baxa to speak on "The Importance of Protein Dynamics: From Folding to Function and Everything in Between" at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 in Riverfront Hall, room 212.

Baxa graduated from WIU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics in 2002 and went on to complete his Ph.D. in Physics in 2009 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2010. Since then, Baxa has been working as a staff scientist in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago.

"I am beyond thrilled that Baxa will be able to visit our campus and give us some insight into his research in the structure and function of proteins that he has been conducting for the past 15 years at the University of Chicago," said College of Arts and Sciences Assistant Dean Jim Rabchuk. "Proteins are the building blocks of life, and understanding the possible structures proteins can take and how that determines their function will be an incredible tool in medicine and therapy in the near and distant future. This is a wonderful "circle of life" moment, as Baxa was one of the first students at WIU who I interacted with."

The focus of Baxa's research involves using experimental and computational techniques to characterize the biophysical principles that underlie protein dynamics. These studies include both soluble and membrane proteins, as well as disordered proteins.

The event is open to the public. If you're unable to make the in-person event, join the Zoom webinar at

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