University of Texas at Austin
My interests in molecular biology began in high school, when I took my first molecular biology course. During the course, I interned at NIST studying the effects of HIV drug combinations on animal cell survival. This work galvanized my desire to become a member of the scientific community.
I attended college at the University of Maryland, gaining experience in field research and histology, assisting in oyster restoration management efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. After two years, I found myself wanting more influence over the experimental design process and decided to pursue a masters degree. In 2007, I went to the University of North Carolina- Wilmington, where I studied population genetic patterns of scallops using hundreds of genetic loci. While studying, I had the opportunity to teach and tutor courses such as Introduction to Biology, Physics, and Genetics, leading to two graduate teaching awards and a co-authorship of the Genetics lab manual
Upon graduation, I was offered a full-time instructor position at Coastal Carolina Community College. There, I worked with a diverse student body, oversaw up to 10 employees, and authored over 5 lab activities; however, I was contractually forbidden from doing lab work. I eventually became so excited about the field that I had to leave to pursue research. Following my last day, I drove to San Diego and began volunteering at local institutions conducting genetic research.
These opportunities led me to a position at Synthetic Genomics, where I was involved in microbial discovery and metabolic engineering efforts to synthesize chemical products. I realized there that I wanted to make a career in molecular biology and am now in my third year Ph.D. student in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas. I am currently looking for opportunities to broaden my research repertoire outside of my program.