►Where are you from originally, and where did you go to school?
I was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the states for middle and high school. I did my undergraduate at Columbia University in New York.
►What is your current position?
I am currently a PhD graduate student in Chemical Biology at Harvard University.
►Why did you decide to become a researcher?
I have always been fascinated by the molecular mechanisms that govern cell function and health. I decided to pursue a PhD in Chemical Biology to use chemical tools to reveal more about cellular biology. My dream is to make contributions to my field that ultimately result in the development of a therapeutic that changes and saves lives.
►What is the “Big Picture” of what you study?
My PhD focuses on the health and survival of pancreatic beta cells. These delicate cells are part of a multi-cellular signaling network that regulates blood glucose in the body. Of immediate relevance is the role of these cells in the onset of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. More that 400 million people worldwide currently have Type 2 Diabetes, and this number is growing at an increasing rate. My PhD focuses on beta cell health in the Type 2 Diabetes context, determining the mechanism of action of a compound that preserves beta cell survival and health.
►What is your favorite aspect of your research?
I love learning new techniques and methods. A career in research requires a lifelong passion for learning new things. Innovation and change are the forefront of scientific advancement. A willingness to adopt the new and reflect on the old is a must.
► What do you hope to achieve with your research?
My dream is to make contributions to my field that ultimately result in the development of a therapeutic that changes and saves lives. Additionally, I hope to inspire black women like myself to pursue science. True diversity can only benefit scientific advancement.
►What groups are you involved with?
I am the Vice President of the Harvard Biotech Club, which promotes the engagement of students with professionals from industry. As the Arts Editor for the Harvard Medical Student Review, I generate illustrations for articles published in biannual issues.
►When not in the lab what are your favorite hobbies/activities?
When not in lab you can find me reading in a cafe, painting (oil, acrylic, and watercolor), working on a book, or dancing my heart away.