Alice Y. Ting
Alice Ting was born in Taiwan and emigrated with her family to the U.S. at age three. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, with two younger brothers. At age 15, Alice moved to Denton, Texas, to complete her last two years of high school at the Texas Academy of Math and Science. There, she developed a strong interest in organic chemistry, first through coursework, then through tutoring the subject, then through research in the laboratory of Prof. Roderick Bates.
Alice received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Harvard. She started working in the laboratory of Prof. E. J. Corey as a freshman, and remained there until her graduation in 1996. In the Corey lab, Alice worked on the development of catalysts for asymmetric dihydroxylation and on the cloning of lanosterol synthase genes. As a Harvard undergraduate, Alice also served as a TA for Stuart Schreiber’s Chemistry 27 course. These experiences cemented her interest in biological chemistry.
As a graduate student with Prof. Peter Schultz, first at Berkeley from 1996-1999, then at Scripps from 1999-2000, Alice worked on unnatural amino acid mutagenesis, single molecule imaging, and kinase engineering by phage display. After graduation in 2000, Alice moved across the street to UCSD, to complete a post-doc with Prof. Roger Tsien. There, her work led to the development of fluorescent reporters for imaging kinase activities in living cells.
Alice Ting has been a faculty member in the MIT Chemistry Department since 2002. Her work has been on the development of probes and reporters for live cell imaging. To simultaneously harness the power of genetics and the power of chemistry, Alice’s lab has exploited enzymes that act on both protein and small-molecule substrates. Her lab has developed new technologies for imaging protein trafficking, protein-protein interactions, and enzymatic activity. Current research interests include imaging studies of synapse formation/development, and in vitro evolution of novel enzyme function.
Alice Ting has received the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, the McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award, the Technology Review TR35 Award, the Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. She was appointed to the Ellen Swallow Richards Chair in 2011.