I graduated from a small liberal arts school in Portland, OR called Reed college. My degree was a BA with a focus on genetics. It was at Reed that I first developed my passion for genetics, model organisms and teaching.
I obtained my PhD. from the University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences in Dr. Bob Waterston's lab. While there, I focused on understanding how cell fate is activated by transcription factors during the development of the model organism C. elegans. The Waterston lab automatically tracks C. elegans development by labeling each cell with a ubiquitous histone-fused GFP and taking time-lapse movies during the first 6 hours of development. By examining embryos with specific transcription factors knocked out I was able to gain insights into the specific roles of transcription factors essential for gut development. I was also an active is a number of outreach programs and mentored many summer intern students.
In an effort to better understand how transcription factors activate genes, I came to UNC to study the dynamics of transcription factors binding to DNA in the lab of Dr. Jason Lieb and Dr. Kerry Bloom. I am currently a SPIRE scholar (http://spire.unc.edu/program/teaching/index.html) and am committed to both research and teaching as part of my post-doc. The Lieb lab is interested in understanding how information is encoded by the proteins bound to DNA. One of the key aspects to understanding this layer of information is understanding DNA-binding dynamics (protein residence time). The Lieb lab also has a stellar record of having undergraduate researchers in the lab and getting them onto publications. I hope to continue this record and have undergraduate researchers working in conjunction with me on this project.