Tristin Alexander Schwartze
MBSB at University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA

Future Goals: To secure a position where I can expand my academic and research experience, and to contribute to solving problems that stand in the way of the creation of pervasive technologies. Namely, I'm interested in Computer Aided Protein Engineering & Design, especially as applied to Viral Vectors or Gene Editing Technology. Ideally whatever position I might secure will utilize my pre-existing academic background in physics and programing.

Recent Research

Second Rotation (Durrant Lab): Pocket Conformation Progress Coordinate for WestPA: The goal of this rotation was to establish a progress coordinate representative of pocket conformation (size and shape) to allow for efficient sampling using the Weighted Ensemble path sampling algorithm via WestPA and NAMD Molecular Dynamics. While this project was successful in establishing the aforementioned progress coordinate, a production run was not complete before the rotation's end.

First Rotation (Chong Lab): Using WestPA to Characterize Foldon Monomer Folding: The goal of this rotation was to characterize the Foldon Trimerization Domain (1RFO)'s folding and unfolding processes using the Weighted Ensemble path sampling algorithm via WestPA and AMBER Molecular Dynamics. Specifically, the goal was to perform equilibrium simulations to determine the general characteristics of the system then use that information to run steady-state simulations capable of more efficiently sampling the kinetics. While much progress was made in setting up a WestPA Simulation, production runs were not complete before the rotation's end. As such, this project was not completed.

Previous Work Experience

Research Assistant for the Melendez Lab.

Collagen-Encapsulation Drug Delivery System: The project focused on the creation and optimization of collagen nano-particles that encapsulate various drugs of interest. The primary goal was to characterize the particles' functionality as a drug delivery system (size, dispersity, spontaneous release, storage, toxicity, etc.)

Experience & Training:
  • Tabletop and LEO SEMs.
  • Common Protocol & Machines:
    • Cell Culture (Mammalian)
    • Gel-based Assays (e.g. SDS-PAGE)
    • Plate-Readers & Assays
    • Autoclave
    (Summer 2016)

High-Throughput SPR Sensors for Matrix Metalloproteinases: This project focused on using Surface Plasmon Resonance with the degradation of collagen to create a collagenase sensor. The aim was to get quantitative measurements of collagenase concentrations based off the kinetic association constants and an SPR degradation formula.

Experience & Training:
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR).
  • Nanoenabler, ArrayIt, & Soft Lithography.
  • Microfluidics.
    (Summer 2015)

2017-????Graduate Student at the University of Pittsburgh's Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology Graduate Program.
2015-2017B.S. in NanoScience
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), Albany NY
2012-2014A.S. in Science and Mathematics
Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville MO
Meetings and Publications

Honors and Scholarships

Relevant Courses Taken

Biology & Proteins Math & Programing Physics
Microbiology Programing I & II Intro. to Quantum Theory
Biochemistry Scientific Computing Quantum Origins of Mat. Prop.
Nanobiomanufacturing Multi-Variable Calculus Advanced Circuits
Nanobio. for Nanotech. Apps. Linear Algebra Structure of Matter
Soft Matter Analysis for Applications NanoLab I & II
Nano. Chem. and Bio. Sensors Thermo. & Stat. Mechanics Nanoscale Design
Organic Chemistry I Nanoscale Electronic Devices
Foundations of Biomedical Science Charged Particle Optics
Molecular Biophysics I Advanced Phys/Chem Concepts
Hobbies & Interests

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Misc. Coding & Web Design