Graduate Student Directory
UPGG Graduate Student
Box 3380 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Research Interest: Regulators of pre-mRNA alternative splicing, particularly those that affect the splicing of the FGFR2 transcript.
After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology and Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Jeff F. Miller. There, I worked on immunotherapy against melanomas using recombinant Listeria that express self peptides. Who would have thought that pathogenic bacteria can be used to cure cancer? I became interested in microbial pathogenesis, especially how pathogens manipulate the host cell for its own benefit and how some are able to evade the host immune response. And I've taken this interest with me to Duke.
At Duke, I'm under the mentorship of Dr. Raphael Valdivia. In his laboratory, I'm attempting to conduct genetic studies in Chlamydia, currently a genetically intractable organism. Molecular genetic tools, such as transformation and site-directed mutagenesis have never been reported to work successfully in Chlamydia, and because of this, it is difficult to study these bacteria. Genetic studies would significantly improve our understanding of Chlamydial biology, and this is why I'm pursuing this challenge.
Duke is an excellent place for science with its broad range of research topics, supportive faculty, and collaborative environment. I've enjoyed my time here, made good friends, and had interesting discussions with faculty and students.
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