I was fortunate to grow up in a family that encouraged intellectual development and artistic expression. From the age of ~11-16, I studied classical ballet intensively with Vladimir Marek and Nancy Smith and as a member of the San Antonio Ballet Junior Company. During that time, I was still able to explore interests in the sciences in high school at Judson High School, and I ultimately attended a liberal arts college (Southwestern University) in Georgetown, Texas. Not surprisingly, I have a broad range of interests, from ballet to bacteria and beyond that I continue to explore, while adding new interests along the way. My new project is melding my professional and personal interests in a productive way – the microbiology of fermented foods, specifically cheese. Finally, I am an advocate for scientific funding to understand autoimmune disease as a result of having several relatives and friends with autoimmune diseases.
* Alopecia areata – autoimmune disease that causes hair loss ranging from mild to total (alopecia areata universalis)
* Type I diabetes
* Sjögren’s syndrome