Neuroscience; Anatomy & Cell Biology
I grew in the country side just outside of Topeka Kansas. Wanting a change of scenery for college I moved to Provo, Utah to attend BYU nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range. After taking a two-year deferment for a mission trip to Uruguay (donde aprendi a hablar español e falar um puoco portugues!), I graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a Chemistry minor. During my time at BYU, I worked in Dr. Alonzo Cook's chemical engineering lab studying tissue decellularization and helped form a sub-project focusing on peripheral nerve regeneration in the rat animal model. I am absolutely fascinated by the intricacy and complexity of the human nervous system.
I am excited to be back in Kansas and to be part of the MD/PhD program. I loved the first two years of medical school, and my rotations in Dr. Nudo's Cortical Plasticity Laboratory. I am currently in the graduate phase of my training in Dr. Wright's Sensory Neuron Disorder Laboratory focusing on the role of sensory neurons innervating the pancreas in providing feedback onto the insulin producing beta cells in the islets of Langerhans. I am also studying the effects of neurotoxic chemotherapy Paclitaxel on these neurons of interest and helping run our labs clinical study: Prediabetic Axonal Changes in Metabolic Syndrome And Neuropathy (or PACMAN study).
When not in the lab you can find me out running around the KC metro, hunting for waterfalls/hiking trails across the states of Kansas and Missouri, or traveling back to the mountains to hike in the summer or ski in the winter! Finally, my better half (Mekinzee) was accepted into KU medical school this summer and I look forward to supporting her through medical school and hopefully syncing back up with her in 2021 for clerkships and 2023 for the match!
Mentor: Douglas E. Wright, Ph.D.