Previous Institution: University of Pennsylvania
I graduated in May 2017 from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors degree in biochemistry and biology and a Masters degree in chemistry. Though I enjoyed my biochemistry and chemistry classes and am thankful for my education in these subjects, I found my calling when I began taking biology classes in the spring of my sophomore year. Part of what led me to biology was my experience in lab; I spent much of my time at Penn working with Dr. Christopher Lengner at PennVet. The focus of much of my time and ultimately my masters thesis was a project aiming to develop a model of human colorectal cancer through genome editing of human pluripotent stem cells and subsequent directed differentiation.
In Dr. Lengner's lab and through my biology coursework, I have developed a fascination with genetics. At Columbia, I hope to broaden my understanding of this field. My background is in molecular genetics, but I hope to focus on computational methods during my PhD. Specifically, I am interested in using association studies to identify genes of interest for various phenotypes. I also hope to utilize molecular genetics to confirm and characterize those genes of interest. While these aims are broad, I am incredibly excited about the projects utilizing these tools at Columbia.
While at Penn, I also became dedicated to conservation and species protection through internships at the Philadelphia zoo. Conservation led me to the Galapagos islands, where I spent the summer after graduation kick starting several projects with a group at Penn. Most notably, we worked with local high school students to study sea lion ecology in areas disrupted by human interaction. These experiences inform my ultimate goals; in the future, I seek to apply the methodology of computational analysis followed by molecular application to research questions in the field of conservation genetics.
When I am not in lab or class, I spend much of my time in the theater, both on and off stage. I also enjoy reading and teaching.