I am from Colorado but have been living here in Hawaii for almost 10 years. Originally I came to Hawaii to study marine biology, however my studies helped me uncover a lifelong passion for biology at the molecular level. To this day many of my childhood memories involve contemplating the intricacies of life, to which there were never adequate answers. It was not until college that I began to realize the elegant mechanics of life. Once I was given a basic understanding of molecular biology I realized the capacity to manipulate biological systems to solve problems.
My first research adventure was to use CO2-fixing bacteria to produce bio plastics. I was able to determine the energy requirements of CO2 fixation and also experimented with genetic manipulation to increase the energy efficiency of the process. From this experience I became a microbiologist while gaining a Master’s of Science degree in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering. Now I am pursuing a PhD in Microbiology and am interested in the process of protein production by the ribosome. Most bacteria have at least one ribosomal protein that is duplicated in the genome, and I am curious if they afford the cell some additional function. Using a myriad of biochemistry methods I seek to define the roles of these alternative ribosomal proteins, with an emphasis on their importance to pathogenesis of the causative agent of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.