Hometown: Nephi, Utah
Undergraduate Institution: Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
During my undergraduate experience at BYU, I found that science was my most intriguing subject. My undergraduate research experience was also very exciting, making research my obvious career path. Once I decided to pursue a career in research, I started looking for programs across the country that had excellent funding and research, and it didn’t take long to hone into Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. During my interview I was very impressed with the quality and expertise of faculty in the MDB program and the resources available to grad students. After my interview I knew that if I came to the Cincinnati Children's MDB program I would have plenty of world-class scientists to select as my mentor and would have all the resources to succeed.
I am currently a 4th year graduate student in Dr. Nancy Ratner’s lab, which specializes in studying many aspects of the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) disease. A high cause of mortality in NF1 patients is the malignant transformation of neurofibromas to malignant peripheral never sheath tumors (MPNSTs) for which no adequate therapies exist. To discover genes that can potentially be exploited as therapeutic targets in MPNSTs I am elucidating transcription factor gene regulatory networks that are necessary for MPNST cell survival.