Hometown: Mangilao, GU
"My inspiration to do Cancer Research stems from a personal connection to the disease. In my culture, I have been trained to work with medicinal plants and have seen the effects of research on medicine on my island. It wasn’t until college that I actually found out that doing research was a viable career option. I graduated from the University of Guam in 2017 before completing a post-bac program at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2018. During undergrad, I worked on a number of projects including looking into the effects of pesticides and herbicides on local wildlife as well as compiling samples of endangered plants used for local medicine for sequencing. When I was in South Carolina, I worked with Dr. Chrystal Paulos to investigate a mechanism for reducing differentiation of T cells for Adoptive T-Cell Transfer Therapy. After completing the Post-Bac program, I started in the UMich Cancer Biology as a Rackham Merit Fellow in the Summer of 2018. I am now working in Dr. Howard Crawford's lab and looking into the tumor micro-environment of pancreatic cancer. Being a Native Pacific Islander, I am a Micro-minority in STEM and l have also worked extensively on DEI projects to celebrate and increase diversity in STEM. I am also a first generation college/PhD student and know the struggles of finding your way on a career path that so few of your people have walked."