I am queer and I am a microbiologist and a mucosal immunologist.//
I have always been allured by our biological world. I went to college at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon where I explored the wide world of turbulent tidal pools, forest invertebrates, and studied C. elegans cell biology and genetics. I then became enthralled with microbes and their global power to start and stop the universe, and pursued my Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis where I investigated the transmission and genomics of the pathogenic bacteria Campylobacter jejuni. In my pursuit to better understand host immunology, physiology, and gut microbial communities I have been elucidating the role of the gut microbiota during colon cancer tumorigenesis from both a protective and pathogenic standpoint during my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah in the lab of June Round. I hope to start my own lab in the coming years focused on how a commensal becomes a pathogen during homeostasis and disease, microbial ecology and evolution within the gut, and the immunological priming and mechanistic effects of different gut bacteria on our immune system. During all of my time in academia I have been an advocate for queer students. I was the president of the queer student group at Lewis and Clark for two years, was part of the queer student group at UC Davis, and here at the University of Utah within the Huntsman Cancer Institute I’ve been in leadership and helped HCI be recognized as a leader in LGBTQ+ healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign. I will always be an open door and shining rainbow flag for all those that need it.