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Joshua Wesalo, G5

News Description

Research interest / current research work 
I expand the genetic code so we can control how proteins work using light and using designer small molecule triggers. I also apply similar tools to nucleic acids.

Field of clinical interest

Undergrad institution
Franklin & Marshall College

Type of News

What are your hobbies?
I did a lot of running in my first few years in the program and also did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but now I’m more into biking for exercise. I’m pretty into cooking and home bartending as well. In grad school, my interests became a lot nerdier: a bit of blogging, some cryptocurrency mining, and one day (when I find the time) I’ll try 3D printing.

​Did you do anything after undergrad before starting MSTP?
I spent a year researching a rare neurological disease in the Amish community called GM3 Synthase Deficiency. My alma mater and The Clinic for Special Children put together a joint research fellowship for the work. I spent the year making molecules expected to help treat and monitor the disease, meeting a few patients and families, and tinkering with the clinic’s ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC).

What are you involved with at University of Pittsburgh?
I help run the Guerrilla Eye Service, which sets up 1-2 ophthalmology clinics each month to provide free eye care for patients who would otherwise go without. I’ve been on many of the student committees in the MSTP (my favorite has been planning workshops since we got to throw a BBQ and a potluck, and our program has several talented chefs). I also used to tag along for runs and do a few races on Pitt’s Club Cross Country team back in the day.