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About Me


Growing up in Detroit, there was little discussion on STEM careers outside of medicine and no one ever mentioned “scientist” as a possibility for young girls interested in the field. When I started college, I thought that becoming a medical doctor or an engineer were my only options. To fulfill a degree requirement, I spent two semesters working in a virology lab where I absolutely fell in love with biomedical research. I was amazed to learn of the complex pathways governing virus infection and how studying these host-pathogen interactions has the potential to clarify fundamental mechanisms of cancer and cell biology. Still, it wasn’t until my final semester that I even learned about graduate school or considered that I could “do science” as a career.

After a few winding turns, I earned my Ph.D. in Microbiology-Immunology from Northwestern University in 2017. Upon completion of my post-doctoral training, I accepted a tenure-track faculty position at the University of Michigan where I launched my independent research program in 2022. My lab uses a combination of biochemical, cell biological and high-resolution imaging approaches to investigate the host-pathogen interactions required for cancer-causing and cancer-treating viruses to infect cells. Finally achieving my goal of running a virology research lab has allowed me to not only pursue my passion for scientific discovery, but to encourage others to also consider careers in biomedical research.

While reflecting on my journey thus far, I am certain that none of this would have been possible without the continuous support of my many mentors throughout the years. Accordingly, I often ask myself how many bright, young students will never pursue research careers because of a lack of exposure and resources? Or cannot imagine themselves as scientists because they don’t see themselves represented in the field?
Now more than ever, I am committed to creating opportunities for students from all backgrounds to participate in scientific research and to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM through continuous mentorship, training and advocacy efforts.

Learn more about me!

Read more about my journey in this spotlight article by the

American Society for Microbiology

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