Education and Research Experience


Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2017-Present

              University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Department of Reproductive Medicine, La Jolla, CA

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2015-2017             
              Boston University and Boston University Medical Center, School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology,

              Boston, MA             

Ph.D., 2009-2015          

               Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, Department of Basic Sciences, Division of Biochemistry (GPA 3.9)    

B.S., 2006-2009         

               Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN

               Major: Chemistry, Biochemistry emphasis

               Magna Cum Laude distinction

               Southern Scholars interdisciplinary honors program

              GPA 3.9

Research Experience       

Post-Doctoral Fellowship              Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA

Advisors: Dr. Barbara Nickolajczyk, Department of Microbiology and Dr. Gerald Denis, Cancer Research Center, Pharmacology and Medicine

             Determining metabolism and function relationships of human immune cells from people with type 2 diabetes.

             Investigating the predictive power of inflammatory cytokine profiles from human PBMCs to determine the metabolic status of people with type 2 diabetes, with pre-diabetes, and without diabetes

             Evaluating the effect of metformin on inflammatory cytokine profiles of patients with pre-diabetes

             Determining how BET proteins regulate breast cancer cell metabolism


Graduate Dissertation     Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA

Advisors: Dr. William Langridge, Department of Biochemistry and Dr. Marino De Leon, Department of Physiology, Chair of the Center for Health Disparities and Molecular Medicine

Dissertation Title: Palmitic Acid Activation of Dendritic Cells (DCs): Implications for Type 2 Diabetes

             Determined that palmitic acid is a likely TLR4 ligand

             Determined that DCs have a robust IL-1β response to palmitic acid

             Characterized the role of H2O2 role in regulation of palmitic acid-induced TLR4 signaling in DCs

             Characterized Epigenetic Changes in dendritic cells upon their differentiation from monocytes

             Identified anti-palmitic acid antibodies in the serum of patients with unmanaged type 2 diabetes         

Graduate Research          Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA

Advisor: Dr. Kimberly Payne, Department of Anatomy

Research Focus: The role of Ikaros in B cell leukemia

             Investigated differences in leukemic B cell lines Ramos and Raji stably transfected with GFP-Ikaros

             Determined there is no link between adherent and non-adherent cell expression of Ikaros

Undergraduate Thesis    Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN

Advisor: Dr. Mitch Menzmer, Department of Chemistry

Research Focus: Dehydration of cyclic alcohols in concentrated acid

             Identified an allylic carbocation intermediate in the dehydration of 4-methylcyclohexanol in concentrated sulfuric acid

             Determined the activation energy of said allylic carbocation


Technical Skills and Expertise                                       

Wet Lab

Flow Cytometry Lenti-Viral Transfection/Transduction

Isothermal Titration Calorimetry       qRT-PCR                                   

Cell culture (primary/cells lines)         EMSA 

Western Blot/Dot Blot                          Protein Isolation

 Fluorescence Microscopy                    ELISA/ELISPOT    

Seahorse extracellular flux analysis    Multiplex bead assay           

Human Tissue Processing                     Lipid Assays                                         

Analysis Software Experience

Flow Jo          Graph Pad Prism               Ingenuity Pathway           FCAP Array

Excel              Image J            R                Nano Drop                         Power Point        

Microsoft Office                    Spot Advanced            Wave/Seahorse Explorer (ShoRE)