I grew up in Texas, but have lived in 6 states. As a first generation college student, I attended 4 different community colleges prior to enrolling at Hampshire College, where I first became fascinated by the lives of microbes and molecules.
I performed my BA and MS research in the lab of Rob Dorit at Smith College where I was awarded a United States Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results Fellowship and an ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship. After completing my M.S., I began my PhD at Stanford University. I gained animal handling experience in the lab of A.C. Matin and trained in microbial ecology and high throughput sequence analysis in the lab of David Relman. While at Stanford, I worked closely with and was strongly influenced by Susan Holmes who helped me gain expertise in spatial statistics. Between 2016 and 2018, I served as an adjunct clinical instructor at the UCSF School of Dentistry where I worked closely with Mark Ryder, learning to manage clinic operations supporting an NIH-funded clinical study. In 2018 I joined the lab of Julie Segre at the NIH where I have since gained expertise in areas within epidemiology, shotgun metagenomics, and whole genome sequence analysis.
In my future work, I aim to apply genomic epidemiology to the problem of dental disease. I think this framework can help us curtail dental disease by giving us insight into effective measures of infection control that may mitigate the spread of microbes from one tooth to another. The need for this insight is made clear when we pause to consider that nearly half of all Americans aged 30 years or older has gum disease and 26% of us will reach the age of 75 having lost all teeth to disease, according to the CDC. My research interests can be grouped into the following categories:
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