After graduating from Keene State in 2011, I began working at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts. This institute was founded “to contribute to the accelerated discovery of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and subsequently to establish itself as a world leader in the collaborative study of immunology.” Currently, I am a research technician in one of 19 labs studying the effector functions of CD8 Tcells in the context of prospective vaccine targets. In addition to our Boston labs, the Ragon has many collaborators in Durban, South Africa, in affiliation with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). I will be traveling to HHMI’s new facility in Durban later this year to study the role of Tcells in HIV/tuberculosis co-infection.
I chose to study biology because I wanted to apply to medical school, but my undergraduate experience allowed me to discover my true passion: biomedical research. The personal setting of small class sizes and research groups allowed me to build strong relationships with professors, which inspired me to work hard both in the classroom and the laboratory. The opportunity to work in multiple research labs, explore different fields in biology, and attend a summer internship at Johns Hopkins Medical School prepared and motivated me for a career in biomedical research.