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Preceptor in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Monique Brewster

Preceptor in Molecular and Cellular Biology


  • 617-496-6136
  • BL 1090 The Biological Labs 16 Divinity Ave Cambridge MA 02138
  • Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm and Friday 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Additional Information

Personal Statement

My interest in science began when I was very young, reading Magic School Bus books and watching Bill Nye, the Science Guy on TV. Since then I have become interested specifically in the science at the boundary of chemistry and biology. I completed a bachelor’s degree at MIT in Biology with a chemistry minor and went on to complete a PhD in Rachelle Gaudet’s Lab here in the MCB department. In my research, I studied two ion channels, TRPA1 and TRPV1, which play integral roles in peripheral neurons as sensors of noxious stimuli. My work focused on using biochemistry and structural insights to gain a better understanding of how those channels are regulated by small molecules.

In general, I enjoy considering biology on the molecular level, where proteins can be viewed as tiny machines following familiar principles of chemistry and physics to accomplish complicated tasks.  As a preceptor, I work with Life Sciences 1a, the large introductory-level course that integrates chemistry and biology to highlight the molecular view of cellular processes and some diseases. In the spring, I work with upperclassmen in MCB 65: Physical Biochemistry, which dives a bit deeper into biochemistry, thermodynamics, and (the beauty of) structural biology.

When I’m not teaching or doing research, you are most likely to find me reading a good sci-fi book or enjoying the wealth of music available in the Cambridge area.  In addition to being a big fan of musicals, I also sing and play Sabar, Senegalese drums.