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Since I was a child any furry creature with four legs and a tail caught my attention. This love led me to attend the Animals Sciences program at the Agriculture Faculty in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While everybody believed that I would become a vet, I discovered two things about myself. First, my heart is not strong enough to deal with sick, injured animals on a daily basis, and second, I enjoy understanding biological systems, even though their relation to the fluffy wagging tail is not always seen. I did not become a vet.
I pursued a Master’s degree in Human Genetics at Tel Aviv University, investigating the mechanism of mRNA Splicing, and my curiosity continued during my PhD studies at the MCB department at Harvard, where I investigated epigenetic restoration throughout DNA replication.
As a researcher, my most enjoyable experiences were to figure out, to suddenly see the picture clearly, to realize what pieces are missing and what questions need to be asked, to connect the dots, to understand. My wish to see clearly and to understand, presumably affected my wish to be clear and to be understood when presenting data to others. Although an introvert, I started to love presentations.
My first introduction to Harvard freshmen was as a graduate student teaching fellow (TF) in Life Sciences 1a and 1b (LS1a and LS1b). What started as a task that needed to be done to fulfill my program’s teaching requirements, turned out to be one of the best experiences that I have had in grad school. I was given the opportunity to share my love for science, and particularly for biology, with such talented and motivated young people who wish to learn and grow. I could see the spark in their eyes when they realized they understand a piece of the material that was previously confusing.
After I graduated, I continued teaching, and I am now working as a preceptor for LS1b, an integrated course in genetics, genomics and evolution. I design course material and teaching strategies, and interact with groups and individual students to support their learning.
I watch them progress down their road with great satisfaction.