I'm originally from the Southern California area where I received my BS in Neurobiology from University of California - Irvine. At UCI, I was first introduced to the world of scientific research through the mentorship of Dr. Karina Cramer studying how secreted astrocytic factors influenced immature neuronal pathways in developing avian and mammalian auditory brainstem circuits.
I chose to pursue my graduate training at KUMC for several important reasons. Namely, KUMC is nationally recognized as one of only 29 National Institute of Health funded Alzheimer's Disease Centers, the strong family environment of the MD-PhD program, the JayDoc Free Clinic where students are able to practice their clinical skills with real patients in their first year of training, and the benefits of living in a large metropolitan area that often displays the charms of small town friendliness. My current research interests include understanding the differences between normal and uncompensated brain aging and the development of Alzheimer's disease. At KUMC, I have spent time working with Dr. Russell Swerdlow and Dr. Chad Slawson in the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Swerdlow's lab pursues an understanding of how defects in cellular energy metabolism contribute to the development of Alzheimer's pathology. Dr. Slawson is primarily interested in elucidating the role that OGlcNac, a posttranslational protein modification, plays in the regulation of major cellular processes such as mitosis.
I have chosen to join Dr. Swerdlow's lab and the Graduate Neuroscience Program for my graduate phase training. I will be investigating the mechanistic pathways through which ketones induce neuroprotective changes in the brain with the intention of developing novel dietary mimetics for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. For prospective students, I strongly encourage you to consider KUMC due to the superb graduate and medical training opportunities present at this institution and our partners at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. KUMC has been listed as a top 25 medical school in the United States by Business Insider and U.S. News and World Reports as well as 67th in research by U.S News and World Reports in 2015. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Mentor: Russell Swerdlow, M.D.