Matthew D. Shoulders, Ph.D.
Matt grew up in the mountains of southwest Virginia. He first became interested in chemistry as a young boy during after-dinner chats about molecular orbital theory with his chemistry professor grandfather that always provided a superb excuse to avoid helping clear the table. Matt graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2004 with a B.S. in chemistry and a minor in biochemistry. As a US Department of Homeland Security undergraduate scholar at Virginia Tech, he worked with Prof. Felicia Etzkorn to devise synthetic approaches to incorporate alkene isosteres of Pro–Gly amide bonds in synthetic proteins and completed an internship at Pacific Northwest National Lab in Richland, WA.
Matt's doctoral work (funded by graduate fellowships from the US Department of Homeland Security and the American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry) was performed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the laboratory of Prof. Ron Raines. At Wisconsin, Matt employed chemical synthesis and biophysical methods to explore the physicochemical basis of collagen structure and stability, devising general approaches to enhance protein stability using preorganization induced by amino acid sidechain modifications. Matt also completed a graduate internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Livermore, CA.
From 2009–2012, Matt worked at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) in the laboratory of Prof. Jeff Kelly as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow. At Scripps, Matt developed chemical biology methodologies to control protein homeostasis in cells and applied those methods in various disease model systems. Matt joined the MIT Department of Chemistry in the summer of 2012 as an assistant professor.