Professional Interests

My current professional interests center around science communication and diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM careers.

Science

I previously worked behind the bench for 8 years, where my research focused on basic and translational cancer immunology. I earned a PhD in immunology in 2018 from the laboratory of Walt Storkus at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where my research focused on cell-based cancer immunotherapy and cytokine biology. Previously, I worked in the laboratories of Ned Lattime (Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey) and Catherine Sautes-Fridman (Cordeliers Research Center – Paris, FR). See my scientific publications.

Throughout my research career, I used mouse models for preclinical immuno-oncology studies in colon cancer, breast cancer, and fibrosarcoma. I used the MC38 syngeneic colon cancer model to develop and characterize a dendritic cell-based immunotherapy driven by expression of the Type-1 cytokine IL-36 gamma. The major focus of my research was then on understanding the physical organization of tumor-infiltrating immune cells (TIL) following treatment. To study this, I used immunohistochemistry to profile immune and stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment. I then used various software tools and wrote scripts to understand the position of immune cell subpopulations in relation to each other and the vasculature. I also studied TIL using flow cytometry and ELISA to further understand their phenotype and cytokine secretion. I applied these findings in a translational setting by imaging FFPE human colorectal cancer specimens to reinforce the relevance of this work to human disease.

Communications

My interest in marketing is driven by my passion for community building. Since my first experience in marketing and social media management, at Letters to a Pre-Scientist, I’ve realized that people are loyal to a company when they feel included in its mission. This has remained the backbone of my marketing philosophy, even as my skill set has expanded to also include website and blog content creation, digital advertising, and web accessibility. My data-driven approach to marketing lets me know what the community finds engaging.

On Addgene’s marketing team, I primarily focus on paid advertising (display and search ads), marketing analytics (including Google Analytics management, data visualization, and strategic planning), and branding. I focus on delivering educational content to the scientific community spanning fields including neuroscience, molecular biology, immunology, and microbiology. Understanding scientists’ needs and pain points is crucial to my work. To learn this, I attend scientific conferences, stay up to date on relevant literature, and distribute surveys to our customer base.

I previously managed social media and branding for Letters to a Pre-Scientist; I am currently volunteering to update the accessibility of the WEST (Women in the Enterprise of Science & Technology) website and revitalize their email newsletter.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to me both due to personal experiences and because of aggravation with the systems that prevent people from succeeding in their desired areas in life.

Over the past 6+ years, I’ve been involved in numerous efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. Since 2015, I have been involved with Letters to a Pre-Scientist, a nonprofit organization that runs a pen pal-based STEM mentoring program for middle school students in high-poverty communities in the United States. I am serving as a mentor for the fifth year, was previously the social media and branding officer, and currently serve on the Advisory Board and the Governance Committee.

At Addgene, I co-founded the employee-driven DEI Committee in 2020. We are focused on providing awareness and education about topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion that impact employees at work and in society. I lead discussion groups on topics such as privilege and intersectionality, led a team that developed an inclusive demographics and climate survey, and facilitate our monthly committee meetings to drive engagement around DEI.

In my role on Addgene’s marketing team and at Letters to a Pre-Scientist, I have led efforts to make our content inclusive. This has included making graphics, logos, and complex images accessible with alt text and descriptions, creating accessible documents, properly formatting web content, captioning videos and meetings, and more.