Dr. Nicole LaRonde is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland in College Park. She received a Ph.D. in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2002 and was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute at Frederick until 2006. In both posts, she trained as a structural biologist specializing in macromolecular structure determination by X-ray crystallography. She was awarded the FEBS Journal Prize for Young Scientists and the inaugural SER-CAT Young Investigator Award for her work in pioneering the structural characterization of the RIO Kinases. In 2006, she joined the faculty at UMD where she now teaches biochemistry and heads a research program in the structural, biochemical and biological study of ribosome biogenesis. Dr. LaRonde is also a former NCI/K22 awardee and NSF CAREER award recipient, and an inaugural Keystone Symposia Fellow. She has mentored 4 graduate students to completion of their Ph.D’s, mentors 6 currently, and has trained over 35 undergraduates in the practice of scientific research.