What sparked your interest in science?
I first loved the complexity and organization of biological systems. As I became more involved in science, I also came to appreciate the way that basic research can result in tangible improvements in people's lives. There are so many of us alive and thriving today because of scientific discoveries that shaped medicine, infrastructure and technology.
What attracted you to UC Berkeley?
There is great science happening at lots of schools, but I had the best interactions with faculty and my prospective cohort at UC Berkeley. Science aside, I had never been out to the West coast at all before my interview, and I was stunned by how beautiful it is! I knew that spending my graduate school years here would give me not only the opportunity to develop as a scientist, but to explore a stunning part of the country.
What are you currently working on in the lab?
I am working on elucidating the role of sensory neurons in atopic dermatitis.
Describe your ultimate dream/goal for your future.
My goal is usually to cultivate happiness! I plan to keep focusing on that, and to find a post-grad career that is both personally satisfying and supports a work-life balance.
When I'm not in the lab, I can be found...
Biking, reading, or trying to figure out how to cook a weird vegetable from my weekly CSA.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice during your first year in graduate school, what would you say?
Nothing in particular. Graduate school is one of those things you mostly just figure out by doing it.