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Accelerated B.S./Ph.D. Program: Current Students
Julie M. Beaudet
Biochemistry & Biophysics

I grew up outside of Rochester, NY and started at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006. I was accepted in the School of Science Accelerated BS/PhD program in 2007. At first I was worried that the program would dictate the rest of my time as an undergraduate but that was not the case. I was able to arrange my classes so I was able to spend the 2008-2009 school year at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Studying aboard allowed me to experience a different education system and explore a small corner of the world before returning to RPI to complete the second half of the program.

After completing my B.S. in chemistry, I shifted my field to biochemistry and biophysics in order to biological interactions for medicinal purposes. Outside of the lab, I enjoy staying active by boxing, dancing, and hiking.  While studying abroad I caught the ‘travel bug.’  I love exploring new places and hope to visit all 50 states and fill a passport before it expires.


My thesis research revolves around the microscale chemoenzymatic synthesis of heparan sulfate/heparin. These intricately sulfated carbohydrates are integral to blood anti-coagulation. The compounds currently used for therapeutics are extracted from various animal tissue including porcine intestines. After problems with the current process were exposed in the heparin contamination crisis in 2008, the development of a contained synthetic process was deemed a necessity. I am using the scheme proposed for the large-scale chemoenzymatic synthesis of USP heparin as my model system but the microscale platforms lend themselves toward the development of schemes for the synthesis of other carbohydrates.

My research experience has also includes the investigation of carbohydrate-protein interaction via surface plasmon resonance, extraction and characterization of glycosaminoglycans from tissue samples, and culture on biodegradable fibers.

Awards and Honors:

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention
U.S. Advisory Committee for International Carbohydrate Symposia, Inc. Travel Grant
Rensselaer Leadership Award
Emily Roebling Award


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ph.D. Biochemistry and Biophysics (Expected May 2013)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, B.S. Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude, 2006-2010)
University of Sussex, Brighton, England (Exchange, 2008-2009)


Curt M. Breneman

Dean of Science (Acting)
(518) 276-6305
For speaking/appointment requests, please contact Bonnie Carson carsob@rpi.edu
(518) 276-6305
David L. Spooner
Associate Dean of Science for Academic Affairs
(518) 276-6305
Wilfredo Colón
Associate Dean of Science for Graduate Education
(518) 276-6305

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Center for Biochemical Solar Energy Research

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Inverse Problems Center

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New York Center for Astrobiology

Rensselaer Exploratory Center for Cheminformatics Research

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