What do you do?
I am a professor of pathobiology and immunology, teaching graduate students and other trainees in my laboratory, to do translational research in nonhuman primate models for AIDS/HIV. I also direct the Oregon National Primate Research Center (about 500 people).
Why did you choose this field?
I love science, especially molecular biology and virology. And I want my research to lead to better treatments and vaccines for people, in my lifetime. I also love leading people and learning from them, as those go hand in hand.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I took on a leadership role that was a really big step and I am so glad I did that. It has been a great learning experience all along the way.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love figuring out why things work, or don't. There is something magic about doing experiments, asking questions, and getting answers that is incredibly satisfying, even if the solution to the large questions elude us.
Best advice for next generation?
Speak up and ask questions. What you are curious about will lead you to what you want to work on. And keep on reading the scientific literature because it helps you to appreciate other scientists and their discoveries. It is a team sport!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"You must do the thing that you think you cannot do." Eleonore Roosevelt