Keriann Backus, an assistant professor of biological chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA College, has been chosen as a 2020 Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering. She is one of 20 early career investigators receiving a five-year research grant of $875,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Backus’ laboratory develops and applies new methods to study how proteins work and interact with each other. Her research blends multiple approaches to identify sites on proteins that could alter function and lead to new treatments for disease.

As a Rhodes Scholar and National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholar, Backus earned her doctorate in organic chemistry at Oxford University and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute.