What is your current job?
Postdoctoral Fellow in Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Why did you choose this profession?
I chose to go into scientific research because I enjoy solving biological problems and translating my work into better therapies for cancer patients.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
My long-term goal is to run an academic cancer research laboratory, combining scientific research with teaching and mentoring. I am currently applying to Assistant Professor positions. I hope to make discoveries about basic processes in biology that will improve cancer treatment.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
I received my Ph. D. in Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012, working with my mentor Paul Goodfellow. I then had to choose where to do my postdoctoral fellowship, the next phase of training. I was very fortunate to choose to work with Dr. Stephen Baylin at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Baylin is a leader in the field of cancer epigenetics, which focuses on how genes are turned on or off in cancer cells and how we can use novel epigenetic therapies to combat cancer. Through my work in Dr. Baylin's lab, I have been able to make new discoveries in this field and also be involved in clinical trial design based on the work I have done in the laboratory.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
As a Haverford College undergraduate, I was directly mentored in the laboratory by a faculty member, Dr. Phil Meneely. This engaging and directed research experience substantially influenced my academic trajectory, leading to a career in science. Both the excellent classroom teaching at Haverford and Dr. Meneely's laboratory mentoring began to instruct me how to teach and mentor my own students in the laboratory. In addition, Haverford's focus on Quaker values and social justice has affected my work outside of the laboratory. I am passionate about using new teaching techniques to improve learning and retention in the sciences, specifically working with underrepresented minority populations. I have led a science outreach program for underserved high school students in St. Louis and currently mentor a Baltimore high school student through Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as a young lady in the 1000 Girls 1000 Futures program.