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Chemistry Major Michala Tesney Explores Crystallography Research at St. Jude

Quick Facts

 Tesney is a chemistry major from Summerville, South Carolina.
 She began her protein crystallography research at Winthrop more than a year ago.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Winthrop University Associate Professor of Chemistry Jason Hurlbert describes chemistry student Michala Tesney as a hard worker with a great attitude who easily grasps concepts, volunteers to help and always cracks a smile or a joke.

Tesney will take these positive traits with her this summer to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she has been accepted into the nationally competitive Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program. For 11 weeks, she will work with St. Jude’s Dr. Tudor Moldoveanu researching protein crystallography.

“Protein crystallography is the type of research I do at Winthrop, so I’m super excited because not many people do crystallography,” said the Summerville, South Carolina, native. “I hope to broaden my research abilities with this experience. At St. Jude, they collaborate between departments, which I think is awesome, so even though I will be in the structural biology department we will be working with the immunology department, which will enhance my knowledge in many areas.”

The POE program accepts less than 10 percent of all applicants, Hurlbert said. Hurlbert previously worked at St. Jude and encouraged Tesney to apply.

After graduation, Tesney hopes to attend medical school and become an oncologist.

Three Winthrop chemistry students have been accepted in the past: Zach Curry ‘13; Ashley Williams of North Charleston, S.C.; and Alec Reed of Silver Spring, Maryland.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari at 803/323-2236 or

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