Summer Thyme is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Her primary research goal is to uncover the molecular basis of complex neurodevelopmental conditions and ultimately create therapies.
Thyme has a broad background in biochemistry, molecular biology, neurobiology and computational techniques. As a Ph.D. student with David Baker, she engineered biomolecular interactions, providing the foundation and skills for her long-term goals of developing new therapeutics for these conditions. As a postdoctoral fellow with Alexander Schier, she studied the genes involved in complex neuropsychiatric conditions, generating over a hundred zebrafish mutants for schizophrenia-associated genes and assessing their brain activity, brain structure and behavior.
With the generation and characterization of the previous collection of zebrafish mutants for schizophrenia risk genes and the current collection for autism spectrum disorder risk genes, Thyme is a leader in the field of zebrafish studies of neurodevelopmental conditions. Such models form the basis for identifying targets for rational drug discovery and phenotypes for unbiased drug screens.