Dr. Weston Porter’s Laboratory
Entrance year: 2019
Hometown: Tampa, FL
“My research focus is to determine the function of the immune system during normal development of the mammary gland, which includes undergoing pregnancy, lactation, and then finally reverting to a “virgin” state. Uncovering how the immune system impacts normal development will be extremely beneficial in understanding postpartum breast cancer development, progression and therapeutic resistance. Thus, my project will be of both biological and clinical significance, as we hope to determine novel therapeutic biomarkers that will assist in the development of more targeted treatment options.”
Medical Genetics – Human and Animal
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics
Why did you choose the Genetics PhD program at A&M?
I chose our program because of the numerous research options that we have due to its interdisciplinary nature. I feel that genetics as a subject is highly interdisciplinary being that it can be applied across several different fields, so I really liked that our program embraced that. I also could not resist the many benefits that come with joining the Aggie network!
When and how did you realize that you wanted to study Genetics?
I’ve always been fascinated by all of the information that is contained within our DNA. It amazes me how we are all so similar yet also very different. So, when I took my first genetics class in undergrad, I absolutely loved it. I believe that learning how even a single nucleotide change can result in disease is what really solidified my desire to further my education in the field of genetics.
What would be your dream job after graduation from the program?
My dream job would be to direct a clinical diagnostics lab. I’ve never wanted to be confined to a singular thing in my work which is part of the reason why I chose to study genetics. I want to be able to apply the things that I’m learning now into a true clinical setting to hopefully make a small difference in people’s lives. Also, working in a clinical lab will allow my day-to-day work to be unique.
What is your favorite thing about life in College Station?
My favorite thing about College Station is that it’s within driving distance to all the major cities in Texas. I feel that being in College Station allows me to focus on my studies and it’s really nice to have the opportunity to take day trips to Houston or Dallas on the weekends to get away from the research, which I believe is super important so that you don’t burnout.
Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
My fur baby is a 4-year-old Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Blaze, however, he’s not as tough as his name implies. He enjoys long walks and sniffing every blade of grass along the way.