What were you doing before coming to St. Mary’s?
Before Joining the faculty at St. Mary’s, I was a working as a Post doctoral research fellow in the lab of Dr. Thomas Schwarz at Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. In the Schwarz lab, I discovered the awesome power of Drosophila genetics, and undertook multiple projects that examined the signaling pathways that regulate intracellular transport in neurons.
Can you tell me about your research? Do you plan to continue this research in Maryland?
My most recent and fruitful project developed a novel experimental procedure so that I could quickly and reliably visualize fluorescently tagged organelles in wing sensory neurons. After analyzing many different fly lines, I was able to identify enzymes that alter the transport of a specific organelle, mitochondria. I hope to continue this work at St. Mary’s in the hope to identify what biologically relevant stimuli may utilize these pathways.
How did you get to where you are now? More specifically, what did your education and training consist of?
What classes will you teach in the fall? Which class are you most excited to teach?
If you had a chance to give one piece of advice to your future students, what would it be?
Although it is a very old piece of advice, it holds as true today as it ever did. One of the most important things that students can do is discover who they are or “know thyself”. For many, their time in college is the first opportunity they have to be truly independent, and I believe it is important for students to take this time to look inward as they are establishing their path.
At St. Mary’s, the campus has adopted an unofficial slogan, “Keep St. Mary’s Weird.” How do you fit in with this motto?
What are you the most excited for at St. Mary’s?
I am most excited to share my passion for science with the students. As you progress through graduate school and push through a post-doctoral research project, science can start to become more of a “To Do” list rather than a puzzle that you are trying to solve, as you center in on the specifics of a project. For this reason, it is a true privilege to get to interact with lots of students with fresh eyes and different viewpoints as they are introduced to the scientific process. Furthermore, I am really looking forward to helping students engage with the broader scientific community.
Is there anything I didn’t mention that you would like to add?
When I am outside the lab, I am usually involved in one of many hobbies. In addition to playing around with electronics, I will attempt a furniture-building project or two. But, my carpentry will always take a back seat to any automotive projects I have lined up. If I can get away from my “jobs” away from work, you will find me either rolling down the road on my cycle, or in the woods tearing up some single track on my mountain bike. However, this would all depend on whether there is a softball team in the area that will put up with my never-ending dream to be a professional baseball player.