Lazar Returns, Hopes to Inspire Students

Ten years later, Lazar, assistant professor of chemistry, returns to Westmont, seeking to impart a joy for learning. “I hope my students feel motivated to apply themselves, embrace the material and learn to think about the world in terms of God’s handiwork,” she says.

Lazar, who earned a master’s degree at Princeton University and a doctorate from the University of Chicago, returned to Westmont as a visiting assistant professor in January 2010 and began her tenure-track position this fall.

Her area of expertise is in protein aggregation, including the deposits of misfolded proteins thought to be responsible for many degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. She recently completed a 10-week summer research program with two Westmont students. Her students focused on the aggregation of protein models of apolipoprotein A-I, a protein that helps remove cholesterol from the body.

“I’m interested in delving into the structural level, trying to figure out what the protein looks like in the aggregate,” she says.

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