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A family of enzymes in plants plays an important role in the production of many medicines. Whitehead Institute researchers discovered how the enzymes in this family diversified to produce so many different molecules, and demonstrated how this knowledge could be used to engineer novel plant-based medicines.

Elizabeth Boydston is a postdoc in Whitehead Institute Member Sebastian Lourido’s lab investigating the pathogen Toxoplasmsa gondii. We sat down with Boydston to learn more about her and her experiences in and out of the lab.

The challenges of completing a research project are often compared to a marathon. But it’s not just a metaphor: many biologists are distance runners. Whitehead Institute researchers often look to several miles along the Charles to sort out how to solve a problem—or just to take a break and get out in nature.