I grew up in upstate New York, and early in my education developed a love for science. I have always enjoyed being intellectually challenged, and chemistry has never let me down. I received my bachelor's degree from Siena College in chemistry and biochemistry, and did my Ph.D. work at Penn State. My research interests focus on understanding how small RNA molecules fold and function in physiological conditions. In the classroom, I enjoy observing students make connections between the chemistry we learn in the classroom and the world around them.
Leamy, K. A., Yamagami, R. Y., Yennawar, N. H., Bevilacqua, P. C., “Nature selects for minimal tRNA cotranscriptional folding in cells”, Submitted
Leamy, K. A., Yennawar, N. H., Bevilacqua, P. C. (2018) “Molecular Mechanism for Folding Cooperativity of Functional RNAs in Living Organisms”, Biochemistry, 57, (2994-3002)
Leamy, K. A., Yennawar, N. H., Bevilacqua, P. C. (2017) “Cooperative RNA folding under cellular conditions arises from both tertiary structure stabilization and secondary structure destabilization”,
Biochemistry, 56, (3422-3433).
Bingaman, J. L, Frankel, E. A, Hull, C. M., Leamy, K. A., Messina, K. J., Mitchell, D., 3rd, Park, H., Ritchey, L. E., Babitzke, P., Bevilacqua, P. C. (2016) “Eliminating blurry gel bands in gels with a simple cost-effective repair to the gel cassette.” RNA, 22
Leamy, K. A., Assmann, S. M., Mathews, D. H., Bevilacqua, P. C. (2016) “Bridging the gap between in vitro and in vivo RNA folding” Q. Rev. Biophys. 49. (e10).
Gunsch, M. J., Paske, A. C., Leamy, K. A., O'Donnell, J. L., (2013) "Chlorocarbon and Alcohol Vapor Discrimination by Electropolymerized Ultrathin Chromophore Films", J. Electrochem. Soc. 160:2 (B13-B16).
The Leamy lab studies the folding, function, and adaptation of small functional RNAs. These RNAs include transfer RNA, ribozymes (catalytic RNAs), and riboswitches (RNAs that bind small molecules). Functional RNAs are of high interest since they fold into complex three-dimensional structures that allow for specific function and often gene regulation. Our research projects are at the interface of biological, analytical, and physical chemistry, and employ both computational and experimental methods.