The Chemistry Department is pleased to announce that Dr. Stephen Fried will join the faculty as an Assistant Professor, starting in the summer of 2018. Stephen studied chemistry at MIT, graduating in 2009 with degrees in chemistry and physics, and completed his doctoral training at Stanford under the mentorship of Prof. Steven G. Boxer in 2014. He is currently a Junior Research Fellow of King’s College (University of Cambridge), researching chemical and synthetic biology at the MRC laboratory of molecular biology with Prof. J. W. Chin. His post-doctoral contributions include the co-invention of the stapled ribosome, the discovery of many new orthogonal tRNA-synthetase pairs for genetic code expansion, and systematic investigations of tRNA decoding in living cells.
At Hopkins, Fried’s research program combines methods from chemical biology, biophysics, and synthetic biology, and centers on the dual aims of improving our understanding of and control over protein synthesis in living cells. Ribosomal translation orchestrates the synthesis of complex proteins with nearly perfect precision… but it also sometimes fails. We have many questions as to how and why this is, because the majority of our knowledge of protein folding comes from in vitro studies. The Fried Lab is interested in developing and applying new approaches to watch protein folding and other biophysical phenomena inside living cells to see how genes, ribosomes, and chaperones collaborate to complete complex protein building projects. A second research program focuses on reprogramming ribosomal translation to enable microbes to cheaply produce sustainable biomaterials with programmable properties. Fried hopes this project will ultimately lead to useful biodegradable materials on which to base the material culture of future generations.
“JHU’s long-standing reputation for excellence in biophysics and the collaborative atmosphere across many departments on the Homewood campus and the Medical School make it, truly, the ideal place to carry out this research program,” says Fried. He will join in 2018 upon completing his current fellowship in the United Kingdom.