My research: I am a research assistant under Dr. Carlos Chan in the Department of Surgery. For my research, I am investigating the immunological link between intraoperative bacterial contamination that occurs during Whipple procedures (used to treat pancreatic cancer) and the peritoneal metastasis of pancreatic cancer in patients who receive these procedures. Currently, I am working on publishing my manuscript while beginning phase 2 of my project which involves exploring how bacteria present in bile changes the immune microenvironment in the liver and pancreas cancers.
Other research: Diabetes/Cancer clinical connection (Dr. Erin Talbert, Internal Medicine), Genetic Anthropology on Ebola/Marburg phylogenetic connection (Dr. Andrew Kitchen, Anthropology)
Why I love research: I love research because of the endless curiosity that it encourages. Every day is a new challenge and I am continually pushed to stretch further. I enjoy being able to utilize what I am learning in class in a hands-on setting; it makes my classes far more interesting and relatable. After graduation, I hope to pursue a PhD in a biochemical related field and work for an organization such as the CDC to control and prevent future infectious disease outbreaks.
Fun stuff: I am the co-chair for the University of Iowa Lecture Committee and also involved with the Immunity Campaign. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my friends, baking, and drinking Dr. Pepper.