Ph.D. in Pharmacology
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I visited IUPUI in spring 2018 as a part of the Getting You Into IUPUI program. As a result, I was able to secure a summer internship at the IUPUI School of Science. During my internship, I had a fantastic experience both inside and outside of the laboratory. I was also able to speak to some faculty at the School of Medicine during that time, and they were extremely welcoming and keen to support my ambitions. I also made lifelong friendships on campus and could picture myself on IUPUI campus for the upcoming five years. After learning about the diverse state-of-the-art research ongoing at IUPUI, and the number of resources available to help graduate students succeed, I decided to come back to IUPUI for my graduate studies.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
It has to be passing my PhD qualifying examination. Starting the second year of my PhD during a pandemic was daunting as it set me way behind in terms of research progress. So, I had my fears of not knowing enough and not having enough data at different points leading up to my exam. On the other hand, I enjoyed the process of questioning from my committee because it made me think about my research, and science in general, in a way that I haven’t. After passing the exam, I was able to identify my gaps in knowledge and build upon the information I have to help move my research forward. I am currently working on my first author research article, and it has been an exciting journey to make scientific discoveries with my lab group, and I look forward to sharing it with the world.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I love the big, yet small, city ambiance of Indianapolis. Every single person I have met so far is friendly and always willing to help. There is also a community for everyone as the city is quite diverse. During my leisure, I enjoy cycling at the canal, playing tennis, and going on hikes and dinner dates with my husband.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
Research: As a third year PhD candidate in Dr. Tao Lu’s lab, I study the regulation of an inflammatory protein in pancreatic cancer and how it contributes to pancreatic cancer progression. I am also involved in the validation of newly developed epigenetic enzyme-targeting drugs aimed at alleviating tumor progression. Activities and accomplishments:
- Science writer: To make scientific research more accessible and curtail the spread of misinformation, I often write about science for online media. I read and come across different types of literature during the work week. So, I enjoy creating stories that would be appealing to lay audiences. Currently, I am a regular contributor and editor for a popular cancer research blog, Oncobites. Particularly, I like to write about cancer topics that are remotely different from what I study in the lab.
- GPSG’s Director of Communications: As GPSG director of communications, I manage all GPSG’s social media accounts, send monthly updates to the GradJag Newsletter, oversee the GPSG website page, create graphics/press releases/ statements for media release, and collaborate with the IUPUI Multimedia Production Center for special communication requests. I also enjoy advocating for the graduate and professional student community with my fellow general assembly members. Currently, I am a member of the Health and Wellness sub-committee.
- Graduate Student Emissary: I help with building a more inclusive graduate student community through formal and informal mentoring activities and social, recruiting, and networking events. I also contribute to the Life of a GradJag blog.
- Recipient of the 2023-2024 Wells Graduate Fellowship.