2010-2011 Luce Scholar
Placement: Institute of Developmental Biology & Molecular Medicine, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Blair Benham-Pyle received her B.S./M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale in May 2010. She was a member of the Scott Strobel and Michael Cappello Research groups and is pursued a collaborative project analyzing the diversity and bioactivity of Rainforest Endophytes. She participated in a group expedition to Ecuador in March 2008 and has since analyzed the potential of rainforest endophytes as sources of novel antibiotics and anthelmintics. Through her research, she discovered a novel genus of fungus producing molecules active against drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and has identified organisms producing molecules active against Ancylostoma ceylanicum – a laboratory strain of Hookworm Disease. Outside of the laboratory, she was an outside-hitter for the Yale Women's Club Volleyball team, the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Bioethics Society at Yale, and a Freshmen Counselor to the Yale Class of 2013. She also served as a staff photographer for the Yale Daily News. Before attending Yale, she lived with her parents in Woodbury, Minnesota and graduated from Mounds Park Academy in 2006.