Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
My goal is to be a chemistry professor when I graduate and because of that focus, I was looking for a competitive PhD program that would have both a strong research component as well as opportunities to grow as an educator. I also wanted a program conducting research capable of truly impacting society. Collaborative research with nearby schools, such as IU Bloomington, Purdue University and IU School of Medicine was also an exciting bonus!
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My research deals with the development of nanoparticle-based biosensors for early disease detection. The development and testing of my biosensor with cancer patients has been my greatest academic accomplishment. Hopefully, these innovative sensors will one day give doctors the ability to detect diseases in their earliest stages improving patient prognosis and ultimately saving lives!
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
As a mom to three amazing daughters, I love that Indianapolis is such a family friendly city! My family loves visiting such attractions as the Indianapolis Zoo, Children’s Museum, Newfields, Indy 500, Indiana State Fair and the annual campus Regatta. There are always so many fun things happening every weekend!
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
My research focuses on detecting diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions and viruses from diagnostic markers found in circulating human biofluids. Our plasmonic biosensors can detect nucleic acids and proteins with very high sensitivity and specificity. I love coming to lab and feeling like my research makes a difference. Through this groundbreaking research, I have had the honor of collaborating with amazing doctors and faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine on a variety of research projects. This incredible opportunity has allowed me to see firsthand the partnership between cutting edge science and medicine.
In addition to research, education is a profound passion of mine. I recently was asked to teach a special topics graduate chemistry class on electrochemical-based bioanalytical techniques at IUPUI. I have also assisted on the Distributed Drug Discovery (D3) Project at IUPUI which partners major industry companies with undergraduate students in organic chemistry to synthesize complex molecules for pharmaceutical applications. Having an authentic research experience as an undergraduate is paramount in inspiring the next generation of chemists and D3 does this by empowering students to really dive into every step of the research process! Windows into Science is a course offered to undergraduates who are unsure about pursuing a degree in science. I enjoyed talking to these classes as a guest speaker and sharing my experiences in undergraduate and graduate school. The Graduate Chemistry Society MOLE at IUPUI does STEM education community outreach projects throughout the year and I am their safety officer. I also serve as a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society at IUPUI which is committed to implementing service projects and leadership development for all students on campus.