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During his Master's training in Chemistry, Chantz Thomas served as a protein engineer at the Institute for Protein Design. He also participated in the NASA-associated Astrobiology Training Program at UW. Through his research and subsequent work he seeks to contribute transformational advances to technology, science, policy, business, and beyond.
Chantz studied in the Honors Program at the University of Kansas, obtaining a BS in Microbiology and a BA in History in 2011. He conducted undergraduate immunological research under Professor Stephen Benedict at KU and Professor Kai Wucherpfennig at Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber. Chantz is also an alumnus of the NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration. At NASA, he sought solutions to the challenges of long-duration human spaceflight using samples from shuttle mission STS-131, worked with a large team to design and test radiation protection structures made from lunar materials, and participated in cross-disciplinary leadership training provided by astronauts, agency personnel, and industry leaders.
In 2012, Chantz got his first experience in the Baker Lab by working on a project that sought to control the Wnt signaling pathway, which is vital to human development and plays a crucial role in the course of several cancers. His work included the design of a novel binding protein. Following two years of applied biomedical study as part of a Medical Scientist (MD) Training Program, Chantz investigated the origins of biomolecules on icy worlds under NASA funding from the UW Astrobiology Program. Chantz’s extramural interests include space mission design, science outreach, student mentoring, politics, literature, cooking, and photography.
Chantz was a 2014 Fellow in the AAAS’s Emerging Leaders in Science and Society pilot program. In that capacity, he served as an ambassador between the minds of science and the policymakers, industry leaders, and community members who serve as influential partners in the next generation of scientific discovery. He has been inspired to explore the intersection of academia, industry, and government by his time at NASA and his background in historical study. Chantz seeks career opportunities that will challenge him in their intellectual diversity, their responsibilities, and their global impact.
Feel free to contact Chantz with questions or other requests.
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