Research Project: CXCR3/CXCL10/NF-κB signaling in breast cancer progression
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Bradford
Why did you choose your degree program? I chose this program because of the opportunity to develop academically in 3 different
areas: coursework, research, and teaching. I know that I will continue to draw on
my experiences from this program as I work towards becoming a physician-scientist.
What words of advice you have learned from your mentor? Doing research is like surfing. You’re going to ride massive waves and feel awesome
sometimes, but then other times you’re going to wipeout. Just make sure you’re ready
to get back up and find another big wave.
What have you found most beneficial about your program at AU? Certainly, the most enjoyable aspect of my program has been meeting and collaborating
with so many individuals. Whether it’s studying with classmates, consulting research
experts, or advising lab students, you get to make a lot of connections being at AU
and in this program. Some of these people have greatly impacted and benefited my future
Please share words of advice for someone considering this program at AU? A master’s degree is not for everyone, and I highly suggest consulting unbiased mentors
before deciding to pursue one, but if you believe it is, then this program provides
quite a bit of opportunity. Whether your goal is to remain in academia or enter the
industry, this program gives you what you need to improve your credentials and also
more time to decide.
Have you been involved in any AU activities? I volunteer at the children’s hospital through the VolunJag volunteer services program and it has been a really rewarding experience. Between assisting healthcare professionals
and meeting with families of hospitalized children, volunteering has further cemented
my career goals.
What have been some of your most rewarding moments while in your program? Helping my principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Bradford, write an internal grant for
which we were award $25k to use on my project. Also, a student telling me they changed
their major to cell and molecular biology after I inspired them.
What courses in your program's curriculum stand out as most helpful for your specific
career goals? Pathophysiology and Molecular Carcinogenesis. Pathophysiology was a great introduction
to the extensive ways our physiological process can become distorted to result in
disease and symptoms, which is exactly the kind of knowledge base any future physician
wants to acquire. Although I am currently taking molecular carcinogenesis, I already
know it will be vital for my future in researching molecular targets for cancer.
Who has impacted your graduate journey? My research advisor and fellow students. My research advisor, Dr. Bradford, is the
best help I've had at this level. She has been incredibly welcoming, encouraging,
and supportive from the beginning. She has provided me with the perfect balance of
expectations. She knows what I'm capable of and is comfortable letting me handle many
tasks in lab, but she is also very prompt and ready to teach me any new techniques
or concepts. My fellow students have also just been very supportive. In our first
semester, we all took the same classes, so we saw each other very often, and we spent
a lot of time studying with each other in order to success together as a group
What is one of your Favorite AU memories? A Mario kart and kebabs party in our grad study room with my cohort at the end of
our first year.
What do you do for fun (hobbies etc)? I coach/mentor undergraduates and highschoolers, I play pick-up basketball and soccer,
and I follow domestic and international politics.