Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Undergraduate Institution: Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
I became a biologist by accident. I originally wanted to become a chemist, but the undergraduate classes were full, and thus, I stumbled into my future. During my time in the lab as an undergrad, I grew to appreciate research and wanted to continue gaining knowledge and experience. When applying to graduate school my only real desire was to find an institution that had a solid developmental biology program. I found several decent places, but none of them offered the extensive list of basic developmental research programs as the University of Cincinnati. It was during an interview with another school that I realized that no other school could offer what I had found here in Cincinnati. It’s affiliation with Children’s meant top quality labs, extensive collaboration internally and with other external influential investigators, as well as generously funded faculty.
My first year here was spent taking classes and rotating through several different labs, which provided me with a glimpse at many different aspects of developmental research. Each rotation delivered a rewarding experience that increased my knowledge and educational foundation in some way that has carried through to this day. I eventually settled into the lab of Dr. Noah Shroyer where I study the transcription factor Krüpple-like Factor 5 its role in intestinal homeostasis. It seems many students will tell you how excited they are about the translational nature of the research done here. I can honestly say that was never something that I really thought about; however, given the amount of physician researchers here, it was only a matter of time before I was able to witness how the work being done in this lab was applied to actual human tissue. Those are the sort of experiences that Children’s offers which continue to cultivate my excitement and curiosity about science.
While both the school and the research were fantastic opportunities, I was still a little hesitant about moving to Cincinnati. It’s always a little daunting to move to a new place, but the people here are warm and welcoming. Additionally, Cincinnati has no shortage of activities to keep you entertained here. It is a comfortable place to settle into while continuing your education.