Research Interests: Cell biology of host-pathogen interactions
I grew up in rural northern Colorado before attending St. Olaf College in small-town Minnesota where I studied Biology concentrating in Biomolecular Science. During college summers I had the opportunity to work in the labs of Dr. Phil Westra studying herbicide resistance at Colorado State University and Dr. Roberto Cattaneo constructing chimeric viral attachment proteins at the Mayo Clinic. In the first project, we determined copy number increase drove Kochia scoparia resistance to glyphosate with the goal to ultimately determine the most effective herbicide combination to reduce instances of resistance. In the later project, I aimed to construct a canine distemper and measles virus hemagglutinin chimera that still functioned with the measles fusion protein, but provided a novel strain for use as a targeted oncolytic virotherapy vector. During a semester abroad in South India, I worked in the lab of Dr. Hoti at the Vector Control Research Center in Puducherry where we aimed to develop a nested PCR to detect the scrub typhus etiological agent, Oreintia tsutsugamushi, from patient blood samples.
When not researching, I enjoy playing soccer, backpacking, skiing, and participating in the life of my church. When feeling calmer, I will read anything from fantasy to philosophy, and enthusiastically discussing any of those topics, especially the Lord of the Rings.