• Title Graduate student-Perissi lab
  • Education BS Biology UMASS Amherst
  • Office K606B Perissi Lab
  • Area of Interest mitochondrial signaling, metabolic homeostasis and adipose tissue physiology

As a lifelong Boston/Massachusetts resident, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a member of the BUSM graduate student community. I have a fantastic mentor and lab team, as well as an exceptional dissertation committee comprised of members of both the Biochemistry and Pharmacology Departments. I am uniquely positioned in that I am a member of both Departments, and it is something I have been lucky enough to take full advantage of as a PhD student. Upon my graduation from here, I hope to transition to industry research.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2015. While there, I was fortunate enough to complete a capstone research thesis under the direction of Dr. Patricia Wadsworth. My project focused on developing techniques for the bio-imaging of cytokinesis, and implementation of pharmacologic agents to inhibit this cellular mechanistic process, with the hope of translating this into potential cancer therapeutics. Following graduation, I worked in the lab of Dr. Charles Serhan at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where the focus was on structure elucidation of bioactive molecules involved in the resolution of inflammation in disease states. Overall, this opportunity allowed me to strengthen my skills as a researcher and scientist, and effectively prepared me for the challenges of being a graduate student.

Overall, my research interests lie in mitochondrial signaling and signal transduction networks, as it relates to more broad studies focused on metabolic homeostasis and adipose tissue physiology. The mitochondria are highly interconnected signaling hubs that process and coordinate diverse cell functions, and play particularly significant role in adipose tissue through an extensive number of signaling pathways. As a graduate student in the Perissi Lab, I utilize both in vivo and in vitro models to study the impact of metabolic and inflammatory stressors on mitochondrial intracellular communication and adipose tissue health, as well as the relationship(s) between adipose tissue expansion and disease, namely Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Additionally, I utilize both bulk and single cell RNA sequencing in order to understand, at the cellular level, the transcriptional mechanisms that are crucial for responding to mitochondrial perturbations. All of this work aids us in understanding how to connect physiologic responses to actual disease pathology. I am fortunate to have my research supported by a NIGMS T32 training grant, which I was awarded through the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics.

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