What inspired you to pursue a graduate degree in global health?
I am a first generation, Black, queer research scientist interested in understanding the molecular and genetic mechanisms by which individuals around the world can clear pathogens. I began my research career at the UW working in a molecular aging lab, and it was there my interests in basic molecular research were sparked. I graduated from the UW in 2019 with a bachelors from the molecular biology and microbiology programs with the intention of continuing my training in basic science research
Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school?
I decided to attend the UW as I found the Pathobiology PhD program here directly aligns with my research and public health interests. While many biomedical science programs place a high priority on the basic science research of pathogens, very few place that same priority on an interdisciplinary training in global public health. Personally, I believe to make significant progress in public health efforts, all of us as Global Citizens must come together and approach these issues from a global health perspective. Thus, my personal research interests and goals demand my training comes from an interdisciplinary program that allows basic research scientist such as myself to approach our research questions from an integrated perspective.
What are your research interests?
My research interests revolve about the molecules and genetic mechanisms that mediate pathogen clearance, and how differences among individuals in these mechanisms dictate who can and cannot defend against infection. I am particularly interested in pathogens that cause significant mortality in the Global South. I am committed to those who are systematically underserved around the globe and intend on devoting myself and my research to this effort.
What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?
So far, I am most enjoying the interdisciplinary nature of this program’s offered courses. All my training thus far in my career has been in basic science research, so it has been amazing to begin learning about global public health that is in the context of the research I want to do.