What do you do?
I focus on nutritional interventions (e.g. antioxidants) that help prevent or ameliorate the negative consequences of cardiovascular diseases. Especially the ability of humans' blood vessels to dilate and their elasticity. I also study oxidative stress and mitochondrial health in cells.
Why did you choose this field?
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality not only in the US but in the world. I came in contact with cardiovascular research in my junior year of my bachelor's degree. I was instantly fascinated by the important role of the heart and the blood vessels.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Presenting at a prestigious international physiology conference in front of a hundred people and being nominated/granted research awards. As an undergrad, I had the possibility to present at a regional conference and I was afraid and I ended up not attending.
Why do you love working in STEM?
Working in STEM is mentally challenging but rewarding at the same time. It allows for diverse collaborations– it is interdisciplinary. STEM also trains you in multiple careers beyond bench positions; that is something to definitely look forward to.
Best advice for next generation?
Do not be afraid of making mistakes, we have all made them, there is always something to learn from them. And find yourself a good academic mentor that cares about your mental health.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"It's what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.”