My PhD thesis focuses on how patient-specific mutations in the cardiac sarcomere produce genetic and cellular alterations that drive the development of divergent forms of human heart failure.
I graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. I then spent two years at the National Institutes of Health as a postbac fellow in the laboratory of John I. Gallin, MD, where I studied the pathobiology of Granulibacter bethesdensis infections in patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). I also helped to develop methods for screening drug libraries for potential anti-atherosclerotic activity, with the objective of recapitulating the cardioprotective outcomes observed in CGD patients. My experience at the NIH ignited my desire to pursue a career as a physician-scientist engaged in transformative basic science research that addresses important clinical questions.
I matriculated into the MD/PhD program at the University of Connecticut and am conducting my PhD work in the laboratory of J. Travis Hinson, MD. I study how patient-specific mutations in the cardiac sarcomere produce genetic and cellular alterations that drive the development of divergent forms of human heart failure. The ultimate goal of my project is to develop cellular tools that can be used to predict a patient’s risk of developing heart failure. My research is currently supported by an American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship Award.