I am a postdoctoral scholar in the Lab of Chip Norris, Ph.D., at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). I hold a bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical product development from West Chester University (2018) and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from MUSC (2022). With a focus on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and related comorbid conditions, my research is driven by her firsthand experience as a patient.
My current research focuses include the genetics of rare and not-so-rare connective tissue disorders and the downstream biology of these conditions. I am also interested in related co-morbidities of the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, such as neurological manifestations and mast cell activation. Most of my work is focused on translational, clinically-relevant studies with the goal of going from bedside to bench and back to bedside. My ultimate career goal is to complete my postdoc and become an academic research professor focused on these conditions.
I have co-authored over 15 publications, presented to diverse audiences worldwide about her research, and cultivated a substantial following on social media platforms. My personal journey has fueled my commitment to overcoming adversity and making a positive impact on the lives of individuals affected by EDS. Beyond scientific pursuits in the lab, I am actively engaged in science communication and social media outreach. Seamlessly integrating my scientific expertise with my own lived experiences, I aim to bridge the gap between research and the daily realities faced by individuals with EDS. My multifaceted work as a researcher, advocate, and science communicator aims to pave the way for a more inclusive and supportive landscape for individuals with EDS.
My commitment to empowering patient scientists can be seen through the Gensemer hEDS intern program. This program provides valuable opportunities for aspiring patient scientists who will shape the future as physicians and researchers seeking solutions. Since I started graduate school in 2018, personally trained and mentored more than 21 patient scientists who will make up the next generation of scientific leaders in the field.