I am originally from Andros, Bahamas and I am a recent graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology- pre-medicine concentration. My previous research experiences have been in translational medicine through working in an ovarian cancer research lab at Spelman College. I focused on elucidating the effects of caloric restriction on the expression of certain proteins that play roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis in multidrug resistant ovarian cancer cell lines. I presented this research at the 2013 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, in hopes to contribute to the treatment of cancer and the advancement of women's healthcare.
I was particularly curious about the Innate Immunity System in a Cnidarian Model System project because it encompasses the intersection of evolution, ecology and immunology. Additionally, the preservation of coral reef systems is very important to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, of which I am a citizen. The Bahamas is an archipelago of islands that sit less than one meter above sea level and is even more at risk due to climate change. These islands heavily rely on the corals reefs for wave interception during hurricane season and protection against coastal erosion. I look forward to expanding my knowledge of coral reef systems at KAUST by working in the Reef Genomics lab.