Michael Muczynski

Michael Muczynski

BMB Ph.D. Student


Michael Muczynski


I found joy in helping people heal in whatever capacity I could from a young age. I learned about intellectuals that changed the world with inventions (vaccines and other life-saving discoveries) in school, and I became encouraged to do the same. With this passion, I began my journey into the scientific world. However, before I could genuinely begin my focused approach to science in college, I had my life rocked by a tragedy within the family. This tragedy would hinder my academic endeavors at the start of my undergraduate experience leading to grades that did not match my ability. Identifying the trauma I was struggling with, I was able to get counseling, develop support systems, and build a more resilient and adaptable lifestyle greatly improved the trajectory of my scholastic career.

My first opportunity to research was with Dr. Schwarte during my undergraduate education at Indiana Wesleyan University. It identified the jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, as a potential animal model for neuronal activity. Using synthesized drugs to target natural structures in the Schwarte lab helped me realize my interest in biochemistry and drug development, which would lead me to pursue similar opportunities in the future.

After graduating from Indiana Wesleyan University and a year of teaching and managing the educational labs of my alma mater, I found opportunities to work and volunteer at the University of Michigan (UoM). I worked in the Michigan Medicine Flow Cytometry core as a research specialist associate. The work with the UoM Flow Core allowed me to bear witness to many projects and contribute ideas on how to improve the results of various tests. At the same time, I volunteered for Dr. Baldridge studying Hrd1 and protein quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum, honing my biochemical techniques.

Upon beginning my graduate training at Wayne State University, I continued with my interests in biochemistry and drug development and joined Dr. Kovari’s lab. Under his mentorship, Dr. Kovari provided a wealth of literary, technical, and conceptual training and multiple opportunities to present work I have already done in the lab. The training plan provided for me by Dr. Kovari includes many more opportunities to present my work, produce literature reviews, identify viable career choices, and build technical prowess in the biochemistry and drug development field. As a member of Dr. Kovari’s laboratory, with the training plan provided to me, I feel confident that I will be able to properly equip myself for my career as a researcher in biochemistry.


Bachelor of Science in Biology from Indiana Wesleyan University

Office Location

4263 SH (Kovari lab)

Other Information

President - Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology Graduate Student Organization


My current research is primarily about developing antivirals targeting SARS-CoV-2 3CLprotease. With Covid-19 still ravaging the world, my research is critical to creating a non-vaccine response to the pandemic. With promising compounds identified and tested in vitro, my next goal is to co-crystallize SARS-CoV-2 3CLprotease with the highest performing compounds.

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