Hello! I am a native of sunny San Diego and the eldest of five. Growing up I was always fascinated by animals and nature, so as far back as I can remember I was saying I wanted to be a veterinarian. As I grew, I thought I wanted to be a veterinary surgeon (thank you 7th grade life science dissections), and this was my career path until the day of my freshman orientation at San Diego State University. Something hit me that day that changed my mind and told me I wanted to funnel my passion for science into a career that aids in the health and wellness of people, not animals. From that point I decided I wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon. After getting more experience and stumbling into research of extreme organisms along the way, I found that I loved the scientific process and curiosity that comes in the lab, so naturally I found that an MD/PhD was the way I would be able to funnel my scientific curiosity into a career that will benefit the health and well-being of people and ultimately meet the demand for new treatments of disease.
My passion for research and thirst for studying immunology in cancer led me to complete an MS in cell biology before applying to medical school and developed my interest in racial disparities in cancer. During the admissions process I began working at a major pharmaceutical company which has taught me how a research idea becomes a drug that ultimately provides wellness to others. I was so excited to interview at KUMC. I immediately felt like I belonged here with such an amazing support team that is truly invested is making sure all the MD/PhD students are successful and become the physician-scientist they aspire to be. I'm so excited to be part of this amazing program.
Upon matriculation I rotated in the lab of Patrick Fields partnering with Chad Slawson studying the role of O-GlcNAcylation in T cell differentiation. This summer I had to pleasure of working with Dr. Lewis-Wambi studying breast cancer and investigating the role of estrogens in MHC II expression. As the summer is coming to an end, I am currently working on the role of collagens in modulation of the immune response in head and neck cancer. I am so grateful to have worked with such amazing scientists here and I'll have a tough decision next year choosing a lab to pursue my PhD.