Andrew Savinov

B. Phil. in Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Pittsburgh, 2011


I received my B. Phil. in chemistry and molecular biology, with a minor in physics, from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. For my undergraduate honors thesis research under the direction of Professor Graham Hatfull, I performed a genetic and biochemical investigation of Bxb1 gp47, an unusual  recombination directionality factor used by the bacteriophage Bxb1. Bxb1 infects and forms lysogens of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a fast-growing relative of and model for M. tuberculosis.
I come to biophysics by way of a keen interest in biology. Throughout my studies I have grown increasingly fascinated with how biological systems work at the fundamental, molecular level, and how biological behavior is built up from this foundation. This interest in “bottom-up” biology led me to study molecular biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics as an undergraduate. Armed with this multidisciplinary background, I entered Stanford’s Biophysics Program in 2011.
I joined Professor Steven Block’s group in 2012, excited to make high-resolution measurements of macromolecular folding and biological function at the single-molecule level. I am now studying co-transcriptional folding of structured RNA, currently in a ribozyme system.