Previous Institution: Rutgers University
I graduated from Rutgers University in 2016 with a Bachelor's in Genetics & Philosophy. My academic career is best described as interdisciplinary, as I focused both on traditional studies of molecular and systems biology and the ethical implications of our collective pursuits of scientific knowledge. I began my research career in reproductive biology, and my undergraduate honors thesis was in identifying & characterizing the Aurora Kinases, a family of regulators of female miosis in mammals with distinct roles whose homology allows them to compensate for one another in cases of genetic depletion. Before graduation I was also able to complete a second smaller thesis describing a theoretical approach to creating scientifically legitimate reproductive policy using an Islamic legal perspective.
Upon graduation I was hired by Robert O'Hagan, PhD of the Rutgers Genetics department (and former graduate of the Biological Sciences PhD program at Columbia) to complete a project in translating findings on the role of post-translational modifications of tubulin in nematode neurobiology to a mammalian model of neurodegeneration. We collaborated with Bonnie Firestein, PhD of the Rutgers Cell Biology and Neuroscience department to uncover a novel neuroprotective role for CCP1, a tubulin deglutamylase, in the murine spinal cord.
I come to Columbia University eager to continue my pursuit of unexplored scientific knowledge using powerful genetic tools and a focus on model systems biology. I can’t imagine a better place to train as a scientist – from the world-renowned mentorships that inhabit our department to the rich diversity of thought and interdisciplinary activities on campus, I look forward to growing and learning at Morningside in the coming years.