I joined Duke’s CMB program in the fall of 2016 because it offered a huge amount of flexibility due to the wide range of interesting faculty affiliated with the program and opportunity for students to choose a degree-granting department after taking their first year to get a feel for the different departments. I graduated with my B.S. in biochemistry from the University of New Mexico in the Spring of 2016. During my junior and senior years at UNM, I worked in the lab of Dr. Irene Salinas. My project focused on interactions between rainbow trout commensal microbes and trout secreted antibodies and secretory component-like molecule. During the summer between my junior and senior year, I was lucky enough to spend my summer abroad in Murcia, Spain working in the lab of Dr. Victoriano Mulero, where I created a transgenic zebrafish line which has since been used by other members of the Salinas and Mulero labs to study the role of zebrafish crypt neurons in anti-viral immune responses.
I joined the Rawls lab in the summer of 2017 because I had a great rotation experience and felt that the lab’s interests aligned with my interests in immunity and host-microbe interactions at barrier sites such as the gut. My research goals are to better understand how the microbiota regulates host immunity and metabolism and apply this knowledge to the development of treatments for diseases such as IBD.
I love going on trips to new and interesting places, cooking, spending time in nature, playing strategy games with friends, visiting museums, and reading good fiction books.