MD/PhD expected, UCI, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 2022
BS, Texas A&M University, Microbiology, 2013
I study host-pathogen interactions.
Back in high school I read "Parasite Rex" by Carl Zimmer. While everyone was completely grossed out, I was hooked. Now I study one of the most successful parasites in the world, Toxoplasma gondii. It has a huge species range, capable of infecting any warm-blooded animal, which is unusual. It also infects one-third of the world's human population, hiding out within cysts in unsuspecting hosts' brains. Specifically, I examine the interactions of T. gondii with brain blood vessels in Melissa Lodoen's lab. When I am not in the lab or writing for the hive, I enjoy backpacking and running.
Why is science communication important to you?
As a scientist, it's my duty to share work researchers around the world are doing with the public. Also, I got hooked on science by popular science books! It was a view into a unique career that depends greatly on creativity and curiosity. I hope to at least inspire one youngster to pursue a career in STEM!