I study mechanics in cells, with a current focus on the motions and forces of muscle cell's contractile machinery.
In each chapter of my life, I've been driving someone crazy asking too many questions: what kind of bug is this, and how does a catalytic converter work? Perhaps for that reason, stories of science and invention have mesmerized me since childhood. But I didn't dare to dream I could become a scientist until my junior year in college when I participated in an NSF 'Research Experience for Undergraduates' summer program. Prior to that summer, I was a math major struggling to keep my GPA high enough to keep my scholarship, spending the summer cleaning combines, spraying herbicide, and picking up a lot of strange bugs. I'm grateful to the mentors who told me to apply, even though I said I was sure I wouldn't succeed, both for that NSF REU and for graduate school. In graduate school, I've been encouraged to ask questions at every turn and received supportive mentorship which I'm forever thankful for.