I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics. During this time, I also conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Keller at the NCI looking to elucidate the role of the Id proteins in the regulation of hematopoiesis. Following my undergraduate studies, I attended the University of Michigan for my graduate work. At Michigan, I worked in Dr. Daniel Lucas' lab. While working in another hematopoietic lab, during my thesis I focused more on the regulation of the bone marrow niche and the impact that has on the hematopoietic system. My thesis revolved around my published work where I identified neutrophils as inducers of bone marrow vascular regeneration following bone marrow transplantation. I decided to remain at the University of Michigan for my post-doctoral studies where I work in Dr. Durga Singer's laboratory.
Obesity is only becoming an increasing problem in the US and obesity-associated inflammation is highly connected to metabolic and cardiovascular disease. While it is known that obesity leads to an increased inflammatory immune response (with a higher production of inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils), the mechanism driving this phenotype is not well understood. Initial studies in the Singer lab identified that the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) pool undergoes skewing towards the myeloid lineage under chronic high-fat diet and obesity suggesting that the bone marrow environment and ultimately the HSC niche are altering their communication with the HSC pool. Because neutrophils are expanded and have been identified as regulators of the HSC niche under stress, I am studying the involvement of neutrophils in the propagation of myeloid-skewing in obese mice through communication with the HSC niche.