How scientific principles and discoveries are disseminated can determine how the public views science. If information is delivered in a thoughtful and engaging manner, it creates an environment of open discussion and learning. In the world of nutrition science, knowing how the food that we eat relates to biochemical pathways is an empowering way to make informed lifestyle choices. This is the avenue of science education research where my postdoctorate work lies. I am a member of the Center for Translational Science Education where I build curriculum for The Great Diseases project and analyze its efficacy on student learning and their attitudes towards science.
In my doctoral thesis work I studied the epigenetic effects of aging and oxidative stress in hepatic DNA. Epigenetics is the molecular mechanism by which our environment can selectively change our phenotype. Because epigenetic marks can be changed through lifestyle choices, I find it an exciting and inspirational aspect of the intersection of the genes we were born with and the types of lives we choose to live.
Prior to my Tufts education I received a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences at The University of Arizona. During my time in Tucson I developed a passion for teaching science at various levels. Working with a non-profit science outreach group called The Physics Factory I spent a summer demonstrating physics through assemblies across the USA and Canada to elementary aged children, culminating in a coordinated on-stage performance at the American Association of Physics Teachers meeting in 2008. I continued sharing science through performance after completion of my undergraduate degree by working as a science outreach educator at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California.