Assistant Professor Willand-Charnley leads an interdisciplinary research program. The lab’s research spans disciplines that include organic synthesis, chemical biology, glycobiology, and cancer immunology. Her research group is currently focusing their efforts to understand how cancer utilize different sugar residues to evade the immune system. The information learned from this research is then utilized to developed therapeutics.
Dr. Willand-Charnley completed her undergraduate degree in biology from Creighton University, Ph.D. In chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, post doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley and as a NIH NIGMS IRACDA (Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award) scholar at Stanford University under the direction of Carolyn Bertozzi. As an IRACDA scholar Dr. Willand-Charnley was chosen from "a diverse group of highly trained scientists to address the nation's biomedical research needs." Another important goal of the program and of Dr. Willand-Charnley's is to promote diversity and inclusivity in the STEM sciences. Goals that are being continued within the RAWC research group.
During her graduate work she placed emphasis on utilizing peroxides to synthesize hard to reach ethers, including the backbone of sugar residues. Her research interests shifted during her postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley and Stanford University towards cancer immunology and glycobiology. Her current areas of research interest are: cancer immunology, glycobiology, chemical biology, and organic chemistry.