Current Institution: Stockton University
Hometown: Freehold Township, New Jersey
Fields of Interest:
Bioinformatics and Genomics
Medical Genetics- Human and Animal
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics
When and how did you realize that you wanted to study Genetics?
My sophomore year at Stockton University I realized the diversity within the field of genetics. Learning about human genetic disorders originally peaked my interest, and I even completed an undergraduate genetic counseling internship at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. As my undergraduate education progressed, I learned how genetics can apply to so many other organisms and still relate to human health (which is my primary interest in genetics). Soon after I began working on a molecular biology/genetics projects studying double-strand break repair in S. cerevisiae. I fell in love with the translational aspect of the project and I found a passion for problem-solving and biology research.
Why did you choose the Genetics PhD program at A&M?
Years ago I visited a close friend of mine from New Jersey who studied higher education at A&M. I was able to learn about some of the A&M culture, explore the neighboring area, and make memories with my friend. When I was looking into programs for graduate school, I wanted to look at universities that were larger and were high research-caliber institutions. A&M was one of the first schools that came to my mind. Upon learning more about the genetics program, I was attracted to the wide variety of growth from different research projects and opportunities to develop as a professional scientist. Visiting Texas A&M only confirmed my initial interests and showed me that A&M prioritizes their genetics program.
If you were free to choose anything, what research question/topic would you like to address for your graduate studies?
If I could choose any project I would like to study either neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, etc.), or some kind of human disorder that would incorporate bioinformatics and lab work into the research project.
Who was your famous role model growing up?
Coming from Central New Jersey, my family (and community) eats, sleeps, and breathes New York sports. Because of this, I am a loyal New York Yankees fan. It would only make sense that my role model growing up was Derek Jeter. I watched him win multiple World Series Championships and represent the New York Yankees in an amazing way that I have not seen any other athlete do. I may or may not have shed a tear or two watching his final game…
What would be your dream job after graduation from the program?
Immediately after the program, I am open to pursuing opportunities that come my way and align with my interests and values. In the distant future, I would like to teach as a professor and work on research projects relating to human health and medicine.
Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what are they.
It’s not so much hidden, but I play the guitar and have been for 11 years. Since I began playing, I’ve loved classic rock and blues. My top artists to play are ACDC, James Taylor, and John Mayer. Playing guitar is my favorite hobby and is my go-to way of expressing myself!
Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
I do not, but I love animals. My ideal pet in the future would be either a Golden Retriever or American Bulldog.
Favorite place you have travelled to.
I haven’t traveled out of the country yet (I was supposed to this summer), but my favorite places to visit are either Savannah, Georgia or Las Vegas, Nevada! I’ve made a few road trips up and down the eastern coast of the country and each time I went out of my way to visit Savannah. I love the small-town feel of the city and the architecture is beautiful. I also have visited Las Vegas many times since my sister and brother in-law live there and I love the weather and geography of the area!