Thesis Advisor: Jeffrey Moore and Emily Bates
First Year Lab Rotations (BSP Program):
• Rotation 1: Jeff Moore’s Lab (2014): During my rotation I investigated how end binding (EB) proteins selectively bind the plus tips of microtubules using the budding yeast system S. cerevisiae. I wrote an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship grant on this subject with Jeff’s help and was awarded the three year NSF Fellowship.
• Rotation 2: Emily Bates’ Lab (2014-15): During my rotation in the Bates Lab I worked on how mutations to Mical2, an actin severing protein, lead to ectodermal dysplasia and autism phenotypes in patients.
• Rotation 3: Chandra Tucker’s Lab (2015): In the Tucker lab I designed and generated multiple photoactivatable constructs of actin regulator N-WASP to develop an optogenetic control of cellular actin.
Why did you decide to pursue a Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development?
I have always had an interest in human health and discovering how biological systems work. After completing my chem and bio engineering degree, I wanted to switch gears to really explore my fascination with translational science. The CSD program at AMC fit my desire to investigate cellular systems and apply what I learn to improve human health.
Why did you choose CU's Anschutz Medical Campus?
The AMC hosts a very strong community of excellent scientific investigators with a focus on translational research projects. This campus is also extremely collaborative; I was able to get two PIs on board to work together on my dream thesis project that incorporates one PI’s expertise in microtubules and the other’s knowledge on multiple model organisms. There is also the expectation that students enjoy a great work-life balance, so there is time to enjoy the awesome activities that Colorado is known for!
What has been the biggest surprise to you since arriving at AMC?
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Petersburg, AK, which is a small commercial fishing town located on an island in Southeast Alaska that is only accessible by plane or boat!
When did you start the graduate program at Anschutz Medical Campus?
I started the Biomedical Sciences Program (BSP) in the fall of 2014, and then joined the Cell, Stem Cells, and Development (CSD) program in the spring of 2015.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy a bunch of fun hobbies including skiing, hiking, playing volleyball, going to shows, singing, playing guitar and piano, and reading sci-fi and fantasy novels (when I’m not reading scientific journal articles).
What do you like about living in Colorado?
I love having the incredible outdoors so accessible. After growing up in Alaska this was very important to me! I also love the plethora of fun activities going on all the time in Denver.
What do you like about the Anschutz Medical Campus?
I love the collaborative, encouraging spirit of the people that work at AMC. It is possible to do amazing science and have a great life outside of the lab!