I was born and raised in Hillsboro, OR. I graduated in 2008 with BS in Biology from the University of Portland. After graduation I moved to Chapel Hill for graduate school at UNC. I chose UNC because it is a top-tier research institution with highly productive laboratories conducting state-of-the-art research investigating the mechanisms of human disease to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The broad range of research topics, the numerous opportunities to do translational research, the collaborative and supportive research environment attracted me to UNC.
I joined Dr. Kay Lund’s lab in the Cell and Molecular Physiology Department. I am also a trainee in the HHMI-supported Graduate Training Program in Translational Medicine, mentored by Robert Sandler, MD, MPH and Temitope Keku, PhD, MPH. As part of this program, I am conducting research that spans molecules to mice to bedside as I investigate the role of the insulin receptor in intestinal growth, tumorigenesis, aging, and obesity. To this end, I am using in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological approaches to understand the role of the insulin receptor in the intestine to improve diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of colorectal cancer in the aging population. Outside of the lab, I enjoy sharing my passion for science with others through teaching and science outreach.
Bortvedt SF, McLear JA, Messer A, Ahern-Rindell AJ, Wolfgang WJ. Cystamine and intrabody co-treatment confers additional benefits in a fly model of Huntington's disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Oct;40(1):130-4. Epub 2010 Apr 24.
Attended Digestive Disease Week, May 2010, in New Orleans, LA
Selected as HHMI Med-into-Grad Trainee in Translational Medicine, July 2009