Physicist LeBlanc Wins $1.15M Chan Zuckerberg Science Diversity Leadership Award
Sharonda LeBlanc, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, has received a Science Diversity Leadership Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).
The five-year, $1.15 million grant will support LeBlanc’s project entitled, “Time-resolved Molecular Mechanisms of Ribosome Assembly.” The project will develop a molecular framework for connecting faulty ribosome assembly with diseases and cancer risk using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy while broadening participation in STEM.
Science Diversity Leadership Awards from the CZI recognize leadership and scientific accomplishments of outstanding early- to mid-career researchers who have a record of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their scientific fields. The CZI is a philanthropic organization founded in 2015 by pediatrician Priscilla Chan and her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to solve some of society’s biggest challenges.
LeBlanc’s research focuses on protein machines called enzymes that coordinate to carry out complex biological processes. She seeks to uncover precisely how individual proteins interact with their binding partners, how those interactions are modulated by dynamic conformational changes, and how enzymes fail in complex diseases such as cancer.
LeBlanc earned her Ph.D. from UNC-Charlotte in 2012 and joined the NC State faculty in 2020.