I was born and raised in Southern California (San Diego) then moved to Salem, OR for my undergraduate studies. At Willamette University I majored in chemistry and played for the varsity Women’s Volleyball team. During those years I was exposed to research in the laboratories of Dr. Alison Fisher and Dr. Andrew Duncan. These introductions to biochemistry and organic chemistry, respectively, sparked my interest in pursuing chemistry as a career.
One of my main passions has always been in studying the brain. In 2015 I moved to the University of Arizona to work in the laboratory of Michael L. Heien and study the neurotransmission of dopamine. Dopamine is a small molecule neurotransmitter involved in responses to many environmentally important stimuli as well as in many disease states (i.e. Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, schizophrenia, etc.). My goal was to use my Ph.D. studies to advance knowledge surrounding dopamine-related diseases and in the long-term produce work that could positively impact human health.
The Carl S. Marvel Scholarship has had a significant impact on my graduate studies. This award eased the financial burden associated with travel to scientific conferences. The first conference I attended after receiving the award was the Society for Neuroscience Conference in Chicago, IL. There I was able to share the findings of my research with experts throughout the neuroscience community. Additional meetings, such as the SHNU-Mayo Clinic Joint Symposium, also will likely be attended as a result of the Scholarship.