He’s in the office of Tonya Zeczycki, another assistant professor of biochemistry. Despite similar job titles, their roles are different. Bridges is a protein expert. Zeczycki is a physical biochemist/enzymologist who specializes in, as she says, “how this little machine works and moves.”
And that’s why their presence together is significant. If Bridges’ protease actually does something, Zeczycki will figure out what gets it into action.
This type of scientific collaboration has taken hold in research labs around the world and across ECU. Called research networks, they are helping scientists solve more complex problems and gain research funding by bringing together experts in disparate fields who work together to answer specific questions.
“Not only is organizing and developing research networks across campus an institutional priority, research and graduate studies in partnership with other state agencies as well as campus colleges and schools are proactively supporting, promoting, hosting and, in some cases, sponsoring the development of research networks,” said Ernest Marshburn, director of the Office of Research Development at ECU. Those efforts include STEM@Starlight, Research Mingle and research meetings at the Tipsy Teapot cafe.