I left my Texan roots and headed southeast to attend Furman University in Greenville, SC. While there, I studied G-protein signaling cascades involved in nervous system development under the direction of Dr. Victoria Turgeon. I graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biology in 2011. Not wanting to leave the Carolina blue skies, I moved to Chapel Hill, NC to begin graduate school at UNC. Out of the lab, I spend my time volunteering at the local farmer’s market or watching Dallas Cowboys football.
Persistent pain conditions including fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint disorder, episodic migraine, amongst many others, have been found to been a result, at least in part, by dysregulation of adrenergic systems. Evidence suggests that the resulting imbalance of neurotransmitters leads to the stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors, which increase production of inflammatory molecules and enhance pain states. My project aims to identify how inflammatory molecules downstream of beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation impact pain sensitivity and molecular signaling at peripheral, spinal and supraspinal sites of action. A better understanding these downstream signaling events may improve treatments for patients with or at risk for persistent pain conditions.