Bocharnikov, Alexandra

Sandra Bocharnikov

Sandra was born in Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from Oakton High School in Fairfax, VA. She will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry and minor in Mathematics.

During her time at the University, she has worked primarily with Dr. Jochen Zimmer’s laboratory in Fontaine Research Park. The lab’s primary focus is in studying polysaccharide translocation performed by synthases in eukaryotes and prokaryotes, with structural and molecular biology techniques. A project of primary focus currently is on cellulose synthases, which produce and translocate the cellulose polymer necessary for structural integrity and growth in eukaryotic cells and for the formation of biofilms in bacterial cells. Her thesis research has been focused on on subunit and assisting protein interactions in bacterial and eukaryotic cellulose synthases, analyzing specifically the BcsA-BcsB complex function in R. shaperoides and the KOR protein in A. thaliana.

In the future, she is planning to attend medical school and become a pediatrician, with a focus in alternative health and preventative medicine. Outside of academic, she enjoys salsa dancing, ashtanga yoga and horse-back riding.