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Justin Rectenwald, under the direction of Dr. Ken Pearce and Dr. Stephen Frye, successfully defended his dissertation on November 5th, 2020 and received his PhD. The title of his dissertation is “TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FOR INHIBITOR DISCOVERY OF CHROMATIN ASSOCIATED PROTEINS LINKED TO LYSINE METHYLATION”

Justin received a B.S. in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University at University Park in 2014. He began his scientific endeavors in Dr. Squire Booker’s group where he investigated the mechanism of an iron sulfur cluster within the enzyme Lipoyl synthase.

Justin joined the Biochemistry and Biophysics department in 2015 followed the department’s biophysics track. He was also a student of the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program (MCBP). His graduate research focused on new strategies for hit compound discovery and chemical probe development for chromatin associated proteins. One of the key projects he had been working on was implementation of a DNA-Encoded Libraries screening platform at UNC. During his years at UNC, Justin has mentored several undergraduates, served on the Biochemistry and Biophysics Graduate Education Committee as well as a Department retreat committee, and was awarded the Diane Harris Leadership Award.

After wrapping up at UNC, Justin is planning to work for a contract services organization in the Durham area.

Justin Rectenwald
Justin Rectenwald, PhD





Justin wants to thank those that have supported him in his professional circle as well as family and friends through these past few years.