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Paula Pelayo

Graduate Student

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Emily Balskus (CCB)

About Me

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and am a first-generation college student. I majored in Biology at UCLA where I had the opportunity to study a unicellular parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. I was specifically interested in identifying microtubule inner proteins within their flagella. I initially became interested in doing research after I volunteered in a lab during high school, but I never knew I would pursue research as a career! I am currently a graduate student in Emily Balskus’s Lab studying the interplay between the vaginal microbiome¬†and preterm birth. I am interested in understanding how microbial enzymes play a role in human health and disease.
Outside of lab I enjoy cooking, dancing, and hiking but my dream hobby is to learn how to scuba dive. I am also involved in the MCB Community Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging where I strive to make MCB a more equitable, just, and inclusive environment.