I graduated from U.C. Davis in sunny California in 2008 with dual bachelors in Biological Psychology and Political Science. Upon graduation, I spent a year as a research associate at Stanford University Medical Center exploring nociception and testing alternative anesthetic/analgesic therapies. From Stanford I moved to Washington D.C. where I spent 2 years as an IRTA fellow at NIMH studying emotional processing of the amygdala in rhesus macaques using fMRI and microstimulation. In 2012 I joined my home lab of Dr. Stephanie Gupton, where we are mainly interested in developmental mechanisms of early neural connectivity. In my free time I am an avid trick hooper, belly dancer, and home fermentation experimenter.
During the development of neuronal circuits, axons and their collateral branches are guided by attractive and repulsive cues to postsynaptic targets. The guidance cue Netrin-1 and its receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) are well-established factors in axonal guidance and branching. However, the mechanisms downstream of Netrin-1:DCC that control axon branching and guidance are not known. We recently identified TRIM9, an E3 ubiquitin ligase expressed exclusively in the nervous system, as a critical downstream component of netrin signaling. The point of my project is to elucidate the mechanism of TRIM9 in this key signaling pathway.