I was raised in Park City, KY, a one stoplight town just outside of Mammoth Cave National Park. In August of 2007, I moved to Lexington, KY for undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky. Beginning in the fall of 2009, I began research in the laboratory of Dr. D. Allan Butterfield. During this time, I worked on various projects to investigate free radical oxidative stress, a major contributor to age-related neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. In May of 2011, I completed my research and undergraduate studies, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree with an emphasis in Biochemistry.
In June of 2012, I began pursuing my PhD in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. My first laboratory rotation that summer was with Dr. Richard Armstrong, and I officially joined the lab in March of 2013. My current research project involves an integral membrane protein, microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase 1 (MPGES1). This enzyme catalyzes the production of the pro-inflammatory lipid mediator molecule PGE2. The development of effective inhibitors of MPGES1 has a high therapeutic potential for treating chronic inflammation.
Outside of working in the lab, I enjoy spending time outdoors and staying active. My hobbies include weight training, caving, biking, running and kayaking.
• Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology Certificate in Chemical Biology – August 2014
• Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology Fellow – August 2012 – July 2013
• Chemistry Departmental Honors, University of Kentucky, May 2011
• Merck Index Award, University of Kentucky, May 2011
• Graduate Training Program in Molecular Toxicology (June 2013 – present)