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Undergrad: Biology, sociology: University of Mississippi 1995
Graduate: PhD in Physiology, 2000
Current job title: AAAS Science and Technology Fellow
What experience first got you interested in science and is that field the same one you went on to pursue?
I grew up in a household that was interested in science so there wasn’t an ah-ha moment.
Tell me about some people who helped or inspired you along the way, in your early training and later in your career.
I originally went to college thinking I would go on to medical school, but I had a professor in college that hired me to work in his lab. It was the first time that I thought lab work could be a career and that I could actually support myself using my science background doing something other than being a medical professional.
Can you tell me about any moments of doubt you had as a student or early in your career and how you dealt with it?
Moments of doubt don’t ever go away as you age. I have always dealt with my doubt by having a backup plan.
Can you share two or three surprising twists or turns in your early scientific training and your later career path.
Soon after starting a post doctoral fellowship, I realized I did not want to be at the bench long term. Later in my career I was surprised myself by building a new program in a hospital.
Can you give some examples of how you have incorporated your non scientific interests into your work.
I have always been interested in sociology and used what I learned there in management. My interest in writing has been very useful throughout my science career.
Is there some advice you could you share from your own experience to help someone with a science degree who is just starting off on their own career path.
Believe in yourself, be true to yourself, build a support network.