Using the writing prompt for today: What did you think was the coolest job in the world when you were younger? Do you still feel that way now?
My junior year in high school I took an advanced biology class and I loved it! I especially loved the unit on microbiology. Unbeknownst to me, my teacher recommended me for a summer internship at the nearby university (University of New Mexico). I got it and that internship changed the course of my life. I was fortunate that I was asked to stay after the internship ended, and worked in that lab throughout college. We studied Reye's syndrome, a serious but rare condition that affects children and teenagers recovering from a viral infection.
After I graduated from college, I went to graduate school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. I joined the Microbiology department and studied a bacteria that causes a respiratory disease in dairy and beef cattle, particularly when they are shipped.
After I graduated with a M.S., I worked in a cardiovascular research lab at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
After a year, I transferred to a lab at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center studying brain cancer.
In December 1999, I decided I wanted to live closer to my family and in an area with seasons, so I packed my bags and moved to Chapel Hill, NC. I started working at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of North Carolina and have been in the same lab ever since. My project focuses on metastatic colon cancer.
Needless to say, I love what I do!