After growing up in Arkansas, I moved to New York City to study interdisciplinary science and theater arts at The New School, where a class on cell biology galvanized my passion for the field. My mother is a nurse and my father is a dentist, so you could say biology runs in my blood. My undergraduate volunteer work at a SUNY Downstate cell biology lab, where I studied hair cell damage due to aminoglycoside toxicity in larval zebrafish, led to a job at Columbia University Medical Center doing bench work, in vivo studies and clinical research. At the same time, I earned my master’s degree in neuroscience and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. I have enjoyed working in basic and clinical research for nearly a decade now, and am excited for what’s next in Dr. Kristian Helin’s lab at MSK.