May 25, 2018
Kathryn Ely, Ph.D.
Clean Water for Schools in Uganda

Kathryn Ely is a structural biologist with more than 25 years experience
working in academia. Her laboratory determined the three-dimensional
structures of many key proteins including immunoglobulins, transcription
factors, and signaling molecules, using crystallography, nuclear magnetic
resonance and homology modeling. The basic discovery science that
came from these studies has set the framework to understand key
biochemical processes and basic mechanisms in human health, including
immunity, cancer and neurodegeneration. Her work has been published
in more than 95 papers in first-tier scientific journals, and was presented at
international conferences all over the world.

During her career, Kathryn has been a consultant for biotechnology
companies, and has served on numerous review panels for the National
Cancer Institute, as well as on the External Advisory boards of several
academic centers. She mentored the next generation of scientists, since
more than 30 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from U.S.,
Europe and Asia trained in her lab.

Her international interactions with scientists and students made her aware
of the disparities in the quality of life in different countries, and especially
in developing nations. Recognizing that the lack of clean water is a major
impediment to good health, and that illiteracy and lack of technology
hampers the standard of living, she began to see the need for an
international program to provide water, health, and education to schools in
developing nations like Uganda. In 2010, Kathryn turned her professional
energy toward volunteer humanitarian outreach and established Quench
and Connect to focus on these intertwined problems.