Ha Na Choe
I was born and raised in Denver, CO. and received my B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. After I completed my studies, I returned to Denver to work as a research assistant in the Furuta lab at the University of Colorado, Anschutz medical campus. I worked there for approximately 2 years with Dr. Sophie Fillon in characterizing the microbiome of the esophagus in pediatric patients with chronic esophageal disease, like Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While there, I interacted with pediatric patients and aided in the discovery of an opportunistic pathogen that was abundant in patients with EoE, but not GERD, that may influence disease remission and patient outcome.
I love studying the microbiome, but not for the bugs. I am interested in subtly altering the physiology of adult vertebrates through “gentle” manipulations. It was this desire to change/enhance vertebrate physiology that led me to join the lab of Dr. Erich Jarvis in Neurobiology. The Jarvis lab is interested in understanding and manipulating brain pathways responsible for complex behavior, particularly Vocal Learning (the necessary substrate of human speech). I am currently investigating the role of sex hormones, and how they influence the development of vocal learning circuits in an avian model for vocal learning: the zebra finch.
When not gushing over science, I like to play video games, draw cartoons, read and write sci-fi stories, and cuddle with my fiance and our cat.