Since childhood, I was always fascinated by developmental biology. I wanted to understand how a single cell could become a complex organism. After matriculating as an Honors Biology student at the University of Delaware, I joined Dr. Salil A. Lachke’s developmental genetics laboratory where I studied the role of RNA-binding protein-mediated post-transcriptional regulation in mammalian ocular lens development. Simultaneously, I explored my passions for education access and science advocacy. Since 2014, I’ve worked with Leading Youth Through Empowerment – a non-profit that offers accelerated coursework to high-achieving at-risk youth. I also participated in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Advocacy Training Program through which I met with the offices of my senators and representative to advocate for science funding and education.
At Cambridge, I will carry out my Ph.D. project in the laboratory of Dr. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz studying the post-implantation development of human and mouse embryos. Post-implantation stages are referred to as the “black box” of development, and very little is known about these early stages when many pregnancies fail. Recently, Dr. Zernicka-Goetz’s group developed a culture system that opened this “black box” and I look forward to finding what lies within it. I am honored to join the motivated and interdisciplinary Gates Cambridge community.