I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and completed my high school education there. I attended college at the University of Missouri in Columbia where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages. During that time, I worked in two research labs. The first investigated the effect of stokes on neuromuscular junctions, using a mouse model. The second studied the electrical signals created by the movement of molecules across protein nanopores embedded in the lipid bilayer of cell membranes. The latter ignited my interest in studying the electrical pathways of the human body, and eventually led to my earning a minor in Computational Neuroscience.
After graduation, I took a job at the Kansas City VA Medical Center, studying the effect of the cytokine CLC on lipid uptake in microglial cells. My current research interests are focused on biomaterials and their use in tissue regenerative medicine.