I am an American PhD student studying cell polarity in fungus at the Institute of Biology Valrose within the tripartite CNRS/INSERM/Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, France. I received my Bachelors in Science from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Subsequently, I worked in the chemical industry as a laboratory technician in a water-based coatings research and development division at the Willamette Valley Company in Eugene, Oregon. With a strong desire to carry out biological research, I attended the University of Massachusetts Boston. I spent two years studying cell cycle regulation in a soil bacteria before receiving my Master’s of Science in Biology. Directly after completing this degree, I moved to Nice to begin my PhD in the PolarNet program. Apart from biological research, I like to spend my free time in the mountains hiking, camping, and skiing.
I am studying polarized filamentous growth in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. My project focuses on the biological mechanisms critical for the invasive growth of this opportunistic pathogen. Specifically, I am investigating the distribution of membrane trafficking compartments during invasive fungal filamentous growth by using micro-fabrication and live-cell microscopy. In collaboration with a team of physicists at our university, we are altering the physical characteristics of the micro-fabricated matrix and examining polarized cell growth and cellular organization. Our goal is to correlate cellular responses in the fungi with perturbation in the physical and chemical environment during polarized growth.