I’m an MSTP (MD-PhD) student intending to enter pediatric neurology for residency, but still open to all sorts of possibilities. Right now my main focus is finishing my thesis work to understand how new experiences get mapped into the gene expression of cells in some of my favorite brain regions (hippocampus and nucleus accumbens). I’ve also been developing and adapting new CRISPR tools to be able to better study what these gene expression changes mean and how they contribute to disease such as addiction. I’m passionate about helping others succeed and building organizations around that goal. Some of the main projects I’m working on currently centered around that goal can be found on my projects page!
I grew up in rural Oklahoma before moving to Fairhope, Alabama where I graduated high school. I was fortunate to receive a few scholarships, including the J.L. Bedsole Foundational Scholarship, which enabled me to attend college at Auburn University before transferring to the University of Montevallo. Growing up, I had little interest in or exposure to science or medicine, in fact my least favorite class in high school was anatomy. Along the way though I discovered the power of medicine and its ability to impact peoples’ lives, mainly through working an internship with The Homeless Coalition that was funded by the Bedsole Foundation. This changed my path. I went from studying English, Spanish, and Philosophy to enrolling in biology and genetics courses, and that was when I began to fall in love with science. I was accepted into a few summer research programs, and it was there that I began to learn my aptitude in the art of the bodge and my need to figure complicated things out could find a happy home here.
I’ll never forget the moment I first heard the buzz of neurons firing in my gap year spent with the Amthor lab. The sound of vision, of thought, of the thing which makes us, well, us transfixed and froze me. I knew my future would be devoted in some way to unravelling more of what it was I was listening to. I eventually realized there was no better home for me than a future serving as a physician scientist where I’m able to merry this passion for discovery and my love for all that goes into the art of practicing medicine. I’m incredibly thankful to those who opened the door for me and for the University of Alabama at Birmingham for their devotion to helping me realize this dream.