Bliss Magella.Hometown: Wilmington, Ohio
Undergraduate Institution: Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio

My undergraduate degree is from Wilmington College. After graduation, I took a Research Assistant position in SK Dey’s lab here at Cincinnati Children’s. My time in the lab made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in research. To advance my career I have opted to obtain my PhD. When I was interviewing for graduate schools, I looked for a program that would provide the resources and support that would allow me to grow and discover who I was as a scientist. The MDB program has many great resources being part of a large research hospital. They also have deep desire to see all of their students become successful scientist. After doing three rotations my first year, I chose to join Steve Potter’s lab. He primarily studies kidney development. My project in the lab has closely revolved around the overlapping functions of paralogous and flanking Abd B Hox genes. These genes function in many organ systems, not just the kidney. We have put forth effort to comprehensively analyze the overlapping roles in most of the relevant organ systems. This effort has led us to form collaborations with other labs that are expert in the organ systems of interest. Forming collaborations is encouraged here at Cincinnati Children’s, as well as within the MDB program. The highly collaborative environment gives an overall feeling of support and community. Within the MDB program I have found a welcoming and encouraging environment that I feel will greatly help me with my future endeavors.

After all of the lab work is completed, Cincinnati is a great city to explore. There seems to be something going on every day! There are great theaters, art museums, parks, bars with live music and dancing, restaurants, and shopping. (Plus the cost of living is low enough that you can actually do things around the city).