Representation Matters Speaker Series: Dr. Christopher Barnes


Photo of Christopher Barnes

The Biology Department and the Students for Equity and Advocacy in STEM are hosting a seminar with Dr. Christopher Barnes, who will be presenting his talk, "Structural characterization of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination by mRNA." The seminar is on Tuesday, February 16th, at 12:00pm.

Dr. Christopher Barnes is a native North Carolinian who completed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, double majoring in Chemistry (BS) and Psychology (BA), while also playing D-I football as a wide receiver for the Tar Heels. He later earned a Masters in Chemistry at UNC before moving on to earn his PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine. It was during his doctoral work that Dr. Barnes begin to develop the structural tools necessary to understand, at the atomic level, how proteins interact with one another. In 2017, he moved to southern California to begin his work as a postdoctoral fellow. Currently, Dr. Barnes is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Hanna Gray Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Pamela Bjorkman at the California Institute of Technology. Here, Dr. Barnes investigates the structural correlates of antibody-mediated neutralization of HIV-1 and more recently, SARS-CoV-2. Using powerful imaging techniques, his work provides a better understanding of how viruses work to infect our cells and how our body's immune system responds to viral infections. By understanding these interactions, Dr. Barnes designs antibody therapies, as well as protein-based vaccine regimens. With extensive training and well over 20 publications in some of the top journals worldwide, Dr. Barnes will soon look to start his own lab as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Stanford University, in pursuit of new therapies and vaccine candidates against zoonotic viruses, including HIV-1, a virus that still wreaks havoc in communities of color around the world.

Please reach out to oasin@oxy.edu for Zoom details.