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Rashmi Capece
Dr. Rashmi Capece
Assistant Professor of Chemistry|Chemistry
Portrait of Dr. Rashmi K Shrestha
Office Location
Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, 418
Office Hours
  • Mon: 4 – 5:30 p.m. In-person
  • Tue: 9 – 10:30 a.m. In-person
  • Fri: 3 – 4 p.m. In-person
Class Schedules
  • CHM 221 A (Mon/Wed/Fri: 9:20 am – 10:30 am) (Tue: 12:00 pm – 2:50 pm)
  • CHM 221 B (Mon/Wed/Fri: 9:20 am – 10:30 am) (Wed: 2:40 pm – 5:30 pm)
  • CHM 440 (Mon/Wed/Fri: 1:20 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • CHM 221 A
  • CHM 221 B
  • CHM 440

I am originally from Nepal and came to the United States for my undergraduate studies. I graduated from the University of Louisville in 2011 with a B.S. in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration. I went to graduate school at Purdue University and earned my Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2016. During my graduate studies, I structurally and biochemically characterized a yeast ubiquitin protease involved in lysosomal degradation of cell-surface receptors mediated by the macromolecular ESCRT machinery complexes. After graduate school, I worked as a molecular biologist in a biotech company focused on discovering and enhancing DNA promoters that regulate gene expression until 2018.  At the same time, I also taught Chemistry as an adjunct faculty member in a community college in Oakland, CA. I then started as a North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Teaching and Research Fellow at the University of North Carolina Asheville, where I not only taught general chemistry and biochemistry courses but also trained and conducted research alongside undergraduates investigating the rotary mechanism of a biological macromolecule ATP synthase.  I joined the Chemistry Department at Berea College in 2020 and am excited to be here to fulfill my teaching interests and lead students in research. My research will be focused on exploring key interaction sites of ATP synthase to understand the elegant choreography of ATP synthesis and hydrolysis and inform future drug development.

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry; upcoming sabbatical in 2027-28; started at Berea College in Fall 2020.

  • Ph.D., Purdue University, 2016 – Dissertation: Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Deubiquitinating Enzymes, Sst2 and Ssel
  • B.S., University of Louisville, 2011
Publications & Works
  • Awards and Affiliations

    • Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects Program Award (2020)
    • University of Teaching Council Grant, University of North Carolina Asheville (2019)
    • Purdue Summer Graduate Award, Purdue University (2015)
    • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Graduate/ Postdoctoral Travel Award, ASBMB Conference (2015)
    • Women in Science Program (WISP) Travel Grant, Purdue University (2014)
    • Intramural Research Incentive Grant, University of Louisville (2010)
    • International Student Tuition Support Scholarship, University of Louisville (2010)
    • Rotary International Scholarship, Rotary Club (2010)
    • Continuing Undergraduate Scholarship, University of Louisville (2009)
    • American Chemical Society, December 2019 – Present
    • National Science Teaching Association, May 2020 – Present
    • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, November 2014 – November 2019
    • Phi Lambda Upsilon, Honorary Chemical Society, August 2012 – December 2016
    • Women in Science Program, September 2011 – December 2016
  • Papers and Publications

    • Shrestha, Rashmi and Das C. Crystal structure of the Thr316Ala mutant of a yeast JAMM deubiquitinase: implication of active-site loop dynamics in catalysis. 2021. Acta Cryst. F77
    • Shrestha, Rashmi, K.*, Bueno, Amy, N.* et al. Dynamics of an active-site flap contributes to catalysis in a JAMM family Metallo deubiquitinase. 2015. Biochemistry. 54 (39): 6038–6051.
    • Shrestha, Rashmi, K.*, Ronau, Judith, A.* et al. Insights into the mechanism of deubiquitination by JAMM deubiquitinases from co-crystal structures of enzyme with substrate and product. 2014. Biochemistry. 53(19): 3199- 3217.
    • Newman, Justin, A. et al. Intercalating dyes for enhanced contrast in second-harmonic generation imaging of protein crystals. 2015. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 71 (Pt 7):1471-7.
    • Shrestha, Rashmi, al. Analysis of the Composition of Lipid in Human Meibum from Normal Infants, Children, Adolescents, Adults, and Adults with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction using 1H-NMR Spectroscopy. 2011. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 52:7350-7358.
  • Poster Presentations

    • 12th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, February 2020: “Using Plickers to Enhance Chemistry Students’ Engagement and Learning.”
    • The 35th Midwest Enzyme Chemistry Conference, October 2015: “Dynamics of an Active-site Flap in JAMM Deubiquitinases Contributes to Catalysis.”
    • Purdue Teaching Academy Day Poster Session, September 2015: “Evaluation of Energy and Thermodynamics Content in a General Chemistry Course.”
    • Chemical-Biology Interface Career Development Poster Session, August 2015: “Dynamics of an Active-site Flap in JAMM Deubiquitinases Contributes to Catalysis.”
    • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Conference, March 2015: “Understanding the Molecular Basis of MIC-CAP Syndrome through Structural and Functional Studies of the Deubiquitinase AMSH.”
    • The 34th Midwest Enzyme Chemistry Conference, September 2014: “Understanding the Mechanism of Endosomal Deubiquitinase AMSH.”
    • 31st Annual H.C. Brown Symposium, April 2014: “Endosomal Deubiquitinase AMSH is regulated by Ubiquitin binding.”
    • Sigma Xi Graduate Student Research Poster Session, February 2014: “Endosomal Deubiquitinase AMSH is regulated by Ubiquitin binding.”
    • Ubiquitination Processes and Their Role in Cancer, April 2013: “Structures of the Endosomal Deubiquitinase Sst2 from S. pombe and its Product Complex.”