Iris Young


I am queer and trans and I am a structural biologist and methods developer.//

I enjoy working at the interface of structural biology and scientific computing, primarily developing software expanding the capabilities of cutting-edge instrumentation for X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. During my PhD I co-developed data processing methods for X-ray free electron laser diffraction experiments, including the cctbx.xfel program for real-time feedback, and used this technique to solve crystal structures including the first high-resolution, transient state structures of photosystem II, revealing the sequence of changes at the catalytic center that produces oxygen during photosynthesis. As a postdoc, I am working to improve recovery of macromolecular motions from cryo-electron microscopy data. I will use this method to examine the mechanism of transcript-dependent but sequence-independent translational efficiency of a pool of naturally occurring, compositionally and conformationally heterogeneous ribosomes, with implications for regulation of the proteome at the stage of translation.I transitioned during my PhD and had never met another queer or trans scientist until I started my postdoc! My career goal is to be a highly visible queer and trans scientist, to mentor many others who don’t see themselves represented in STEM yet, and to continually work on breaking down the barriers that keep any of us from doing our best work.

Twitter: @irisdyoung