I live in Miami, Florida with my partner and my cat, Bluebell. I love baking, traveling to new places, playing piano, and eating chocolate!
My pronouns are:
I’m a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Miami studying Amyloid bodies – clumps of proteins that appear in stressed cells – and their roles in cancer.
I study these things called Amyloid bodies! Amyloid bodies are these clumps of folded proteins that appear in the center of cells, the nucleolus, when the cells get stressed out. Amyloid bodies are used by our cells to protect them from stress, where they collect important proteins to make sure these proteins don’t become damaged during the stress and then afterwards the cells are able to recover and be happy again.
My Typical Day:
I wake up and get to lab for 8AM. I spend the morning incubating my experiments and getting everything ready, and the afternoon is the fun part where I actually get to do the experiments and look at the results!
I wake up and hang out with my cat for a bit while I eat breakfast and get ready for the day. I get to work around 8AM most days (or 7AM if I have a long experiment ahead). I get in and put my cells into heat shock, which is a stress I use to cause Amyloid bodies to form.
While I wait for my experiments to finish, I plan out my day and catch up on reading science papers. Once experiments are ready, I stain my cells and image them.
Here is an example of what my cells under the microscope look like! The green and red dots in the center of the cells are Amyloid bodies.
After imaging, I take a bit of time to analyze the data, and head home between 5-6pm.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I didn’t realize there was prize money! If I’m voted the winner by students, I would use the money to hire a professional science communicator to enhance how I can communicate science with the public.
University of Wisconsin-Madison B.S. 2019
Majors: Molecular Biology, Legal Studies
University of Miami Ph.D. (current)
Ph.D.:Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cancer Biologist, Science Communicator, Data Scientist, Baker
Lab Volunteer in a cancer biology lab at the University of Minnesota my senior year of high school (2015).
Lab Technician for the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (2015-2016).
Research Assistant in a heart arrhythmia lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2016-2018).
Undergrad Research Fellow in a bacteriology lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2016).
Undergrad Intern for the Chemical Team at Osaka Gas in Osaka, Japan my junior year of college (2018).
Senior Thesis Researcher in a cell biology lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2018-2019).
PhD Student Researcher in a cancer biology lab at the University of Miami (2019-Present).
Ph.D. Student conducting cancer biology research.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, Confident, Passionate
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Discovered the proteins involved in my PhD Research project!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I absolutely love the research process, discovering the unknown, and it was my first research experience as a senior in highschool in the lab of Dr. Jeongsik Yong that inspired me to continue cancer biology research.
What was your favorite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I thought I was going to be a lawyer during high school.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I did get into trouble sometime for talking too much!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would be a teacher. I think it's so important to excite the next generation of scientists.
Who is your favorite singer or band?
Taylor Swift <3
What's your favorite food?
Does chocolate count? If not, then pasta.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I lived in Japan for 6 months during my undergrad where I interned at a biotechnology company. It was so much fun experiencing and living in a new culture and exploring Japan!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To win a huge amount of money to start my own lab, have the ability to take a year off and travel the whole world, and have the ability to change time (like Dr. Strange in the Avengers)
Tell us a joke.
Q- Why are chemists great at solving problems? A- they have all the solutions