Chemistry and Biochemistry

Eric Merkley

Posted: in Alumni, Jul 22, 2010

Eric Merkley graduated from BYU in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. From there he attended graduate school at the University of Washington and worked with professors Bill Parson and Valerie Daggett studying fluorescence and molecular dynamics properties of a thermophilic enzyme. He recently earned a PhD in biochemistry and is now a post-doctorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. His current projects include the use of chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry to study the structure of protein complexes.

“While at UW, I had the opportunity to TA a few classes. That experience really helped me realize what a phenomenal education I received at BYU, and how unusual it is outside of BYU to have successful, widely-recognized researchers care so much about teaching undergraduates,” Dr. Merkley wrote to the department. “My undergraduate research with Dr. Earl Woolley and my class work prepared me very well for graduate school and gave me a good foundation for a career in science. Thanks!”

In addition, Dr. Merkley went on, “I grew to value the examples my BYU chemistry and biochemistry professors gave me of how to be a scientist and also a faithful Latter-day Saint. It wasn’t easy to raise a family and spend time in Church service while in graduate school (my oldest son was four months old when I started, and two more children were born before I finished), but the time I spent in those activities was its own reward. So, to sum up, thanks to all of the faculty and fellow students who taught me so much during my time in the Department. Sincerely, Eric Merkley.”

By Jessica Henrie

Photo: a statue of George Washington at the University of Washington