I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania where I also started my academic career at community college. I had no idea what to study, so, I took the opposite approach and sampled everything, ultimately earning an Associates of Science. Transferring to Penn State, I settled on a biology major and joined an environmental microbiology lab studying antibiotic resistant bacteria in local waterways. This kickstarted my interest in a research career, which I further explored as a summer fellow at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology using yeast to create a calibration curve for the incorporation of deuterium into proteins. And finally, I worked as a postbac at the National Institutes of Health studying Polycomb group protein recruitment in Drosophila melanogaster.
Ultimately, this led to my application and acceptance into graduate school, where I continue to indulge a variety of research interests such as pre-biotic chemistry and host-microbiome interactions. Outside of research, I have a cat named Leo, a continuously expanding vinyl and CD collection, and an admiration for anything space related. My latest endeavor has been watching everything within the Star Trek Universe, and I am always on the hunt for a good red wine.