Kelly Summers is PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. She holds a BSc and an MSc in Biology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her current research uses synchrotron spectroscopy and imaging methods, primarily at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource and the Advanced Photon Source, to investigate the role of metals, specifically copper, in the Alzheimer’s brain and how these metals may be manipulated using metal-binding drugs. Her recent results suggest that a proprietary drug, which has undergone clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, may bind copper differently than other drugs within this family. This may allow for interactions with aggregated peptides, which could have significant implications for Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
Ms Summers initiated a 2017 program to connect women within chemistry and other scientific disciplines and successfully solicited help from influential women at the University of Saskatchewan. This program holds workshops to highlight women’s issues within the sciences and empower individuals to overcome obstacles.
Ms Summers served as a teaching assistant for a unique new course held jointly by the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Light Source, which aimed to promote interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and teamwork between undergraduate humanities and chemistry students.
In addition to the interdisciplinary course, Ms. Summers was awarded a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement in 2016 to travel to Australia to work closely with collaborators from a range of scientific disciplines and access the exceptional facilities available at the Australian Synchrotron.