I am currently in my second year at Harvard Medical School as a student in the Pathways MD curriculum and a member of the Harvard-MIT MD-PhD program. I graduated in May 2018 from The University of Alabama with a degree in physics, summa cum laude. While at Alabama, I was a member of the Computer-Based Honors undergraduate research program in the Honors College and I was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. I conducted research with Dr. Claudia Mewes in a collaboration between the Physics & Astronomy Department and the Materials for Information Technology (MINT) Center and received a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship for this work in 2017.
I have five years of research experience and I have worked in theoretical condensed matter physics, magnetic nanotechnology, microbiology, and magnetic resonance imaging labs. I enjoy interdisciplinary problem solving, especially viewing questions from multiple perspectives all the way from the atomistic scale of physics to the whole system, whether that be a device or the human body. I have become fascinated with how electromagnetism and physics can be used to answer questions in structural biology, biophysics, and medical research.
In science and in life, few things are as powerful as shared collective wisdom. I have developed and facilitate structured dialogues for my MD-PhD class to discuss the unique experiences of the MD-PhD pathway, improve class cohesion, and share group wisdom to help navigate personal and professional challenges. I also serve as a Pre-Medical Non-Resident Tutor for the Harvard College Adams House and serve as a mentor for the Harvard Women in STEM program.
In addition to research, I enjoy studying world history, playing classical piano, and trail running. I am passionate about intercultural communication, and at Alabama I served as the president of the International Students Association, the 2016-2017 student organization of the year. I have also been involved in health care advocacy, as a volunteer at the LAC+USC Medical Center in central Los Angeles and as a laboratory supervisor at the Good Samaritan Clinic in west Alabama.
I worked with Dr. Cindi Dennis at the National Institute for Standards and Technology as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow in 2017. I did experimental materials physics research investigating how to optimize materials for magnetic nanothermometry, a method to sense temperature remotely and non-invasively within a volume. We were able to create material systems with a 94% change in magnetization compared with 4% for a standard iron thin film. I presented this research as the Material Measurement Laboratory colloquium speaker.
After my freshman year I conducted research on six strains of bacteria from the genus Shewanella with the Dr. Ken Nealson group at the University of Southern California. I investigated the bacteria’s ability to reduce insoluble iron oxides through their extracellular electron transport chains by measuring their initial reduction rates. This work has applications in bioremediation and in the development of sustainable biological fuel cells.
I have also done research with the University of Alabama Department of Mathematics to develop a model of the fluid mechanics of surfactant molecules in the human lung. This research has applications in improving the treatment for premature infants and other patients with respiratory distress syndrome.
I have previously worked with Dr. John Wood at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to use MRI technology to better understand the iron storage mechanisms in thalassemia and sickle cell disease patients receiving frequent blood transfusions.