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UW-Madison Department of Horticulture (USDA)
What did you love about YA?
My experience in YA helped me be more competitive in the job market, both in college and after college because I had a base knowledge of techniques. It helped be build a solid foundation that I’ve been able to rise in my field very quickly.
How did YA influence your plans after high school?
I obtained a BS in Genetics at UW-Madison in 2010. I worked in my YA mentor’s lab for another 3 years while in college, then moved to a different lab for more exposure my senior year.
I worked in education and outreach at the Morgridge Institute for Research for 2.5 years. There I taught scientists how to culture human embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as well as how to generate iPSC from skin fibroblasts. My favorite part of that job was the outreach portion where I got to teach kids during field trips, camps, and after-school programs about stem cells and introduce them to hands-on science.
I have been working at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for the last 10 years. I started working for 2 years characterizing ESC and iPSC to generate a master database for scientists to use. After that project was completed, I started working in a GMP environment doing manufacturing of cell and gene therapy products for patients with blood diseases and cancers under FDA Phase I/II IND. We help researchers here at CCHMC as well as companies around the world bring their promising new research into GMP. This means we help them take what they’ve shown works in animal models and human cell lines and translate it to human clinical trials. Once we’ve shown their process can be translated, we work with them to submit the FDA application and then manufacturer products for the first phase of their clinical trial. It’s incredibly rewarding work, knowing we are helping people who often have no other therapy available to them.
What do you want others to know about YA?
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