• What is your degree program and expected graduation date? PhD program in the Department of Biochemistry, December 2019
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on how cells sense their environment and respond to changes in it. Specifically, I study how cells resist applied forces, like breathing or lactation, through a process called cell stiffening.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? This research matters because in diseased states like cancer, the cell stiffening process goes awry which promotes tumor development and metastasis.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started research after my freshman year (during that summer) through the Iowa Biosciences Academy program.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being involved in research has given me a platform to share my love of science with others. It has improved my critical thinking skills and my communication abilities. It lets me combine my passion for helping others with my love of science.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I plan to look for industry jobs here in Iowa. I hope to work for a pharmaceutical company, hospital, or biotechnology company where I can further hone and improve my skills as a scientist.
• Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kris DeMali in the Biochemistry Department.
• Hometown: West Liberty, Iowa
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