• Title Ph.D. Student – Harris Lab
  • Education B.S. Biochemistry, University of Florida
  • Office K206, Harris Lab
  • Area of Interest Neurodegeneration, prion diseases, cell metabolism

I grew up in southeast Florida and didn’t consider science to be a career path until late in my high school experience. At the time I was in the final stages of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, and while the training was extremely valuable, I realized that hands-on patient care would not be the best path for me. Simultaneously, multiple people I was close to were diagnosed with (different) chronic illnesses. Witnessing the long list of prescriptions used to maintain (but not really improve) their conditions, and how the side effects of these medicines caused them additional health issues, deeply upset me. After a lot of thought about where to go and what to study in college, I knew that I ultimately wanted to study/understand the mechanisms that underlie and perpetuate disease, as this is the first step to designing therapeutics that can improve patient wellbeing rather than simply slow the progression of an illness. I decided to major in biochemistry at the University of Florida, as I felt like this subject would provide me with the best foundation for a later career in biomedical research.

During my time at UF, I knew that I wanted to pursue neurodegeneration research, as most neurodegenerative conditions are ultimately terminal and patients desperately need promising new therapies. I was fortunate enough to work in the lab of Dr. Jose Abisambra, where tauopathies were the focus of study. My project investigated the action of peptidyl-prolyl isomerases on resolving tau aggregates in vitro; the work was really exciting to me and solidified my desire to pursue a PhD after undergrad. I am so happy to have ended up in the BU research community for this phase of my education and scientific development!

I joined the lab of Dr. David Harris in Summer 2024 where my exploration of neurodegeneration will continue, but now in the context of prion diseases. While my project has yet to be solidified, I am hoping to study mitochondrial dynamics and cell metabolism in prion infection, and gain an understanding of the mechanisms that cause prion diseases.

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