I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Volunteering in the lab of Ted White, Ph.D., during my freshman and sophomore years at UMKC gave me my first introduction to the field of research. In addition to learning laboratory basics, I had the opportunity to conduct research in identifying and characterizing gain-of-function mutations that lead to drug resistance in Candida albicans. I spent one summer as an intern with the Histopathology Core at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research before joining the lab of Scott Hawley, Ph.D. at the Stowers Institute. For two years in the Hawley Lab I worked as an undergraduate researcher and Summer Scholar on a variety of projects focused on understanding female Drosophila melanogaster meiosis. My senior honors thesis, titled Miss Independent: Parthenogenesis in Drosophila mercatorum, focused on identifying the heritable traits that allow for asexual reproduction to occur in this fruit fly species. I spent a year after graduation as a laboratory technician in the Hawley lab before joining the KUMC MD/PhD program in June 2016.
I'm completing my PhD work in Jennifer Gerton's lab at the Stowers Institute. The Gerton Lab studies a variety of topics related to chromosome segregation, and my work focuses on studying centromeres in fission yeast. I'm particularly interested in understanding how centromere DNA sequence variation impacts centromere function. The KUMC MD/PhD program has supported me at every step of this journey and I'm very honored to be part of such a fantastic group. Please feel free to contact me with questions.
Mentor: Jennifer Gerton, Ph.D.