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Hometown: St. Ann, Jamaica Undergraduate Institution: Oakwood University, Huntsville, Alabama I completed my undergraduate education at Oakwood University, located in Huntsville Alabama. During my undergraduate studies I was a part of the Comprehensive Integrated Biomedical Sciences Initiative program (CIBSIP). CIBSIP was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) funded program designed to prepare students to meet the demands for a future in the biomedical sciences. This program gave me the opportunity to gain research experience at a leading research institution. I spent a summer working on a project that investigated how developmental aging coupled with hypoxia affects Cerebral Blood Flow. The experiences I gained from the program validated my decision to pursue graduate study.
In deciding what institution and program to complete my graduate education, three factors came into play: 1) student-faculty relationship, 2) class size and 3) the cost of living. The University of Cincinnati met all my. During the interview process, I observed a collaborative relationship between faculty and students and I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of that environment. Coming from a small undergraduate institution, I appreciated the small class size that UC offers, because it fosters an interactive learning environment. Additionally, the cost of living in Cincinnati is very low compared to other cities so students can enjoy the perks of city life without overspending. Prior entering the Molecular and Developmental Biology (MDB) program, I spent a year as a Flex Option student. As a Flex student I rotated through several programs before deciding on a program. The deciding factors for me choosing the MDB program are the diverse research labs available and the many opportunities provided to ensure that students are successful.
Currently, I am a second year student in Dr. Samantha Brugmann’s lab. The goal of my project in the lab is to understand the role of primary cilia in glossal (tongue) development. My time in the program and thesis lab has been rewarding thus far and I can sincerely say that I have made the right choice in choosing the MDB program.
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