I’m a firm believer that student research experiences are a key to improving biomedical research. I have mentored several graduate-level students on summer internships at the NIH and currently mentor a PhD student at UNR. Some of these experiences have led to students co-authoring peer-reviewed publications. My mentoring philosophy is to foster a communicative relationship that lets students take ownership of projects.
My research focuses on understanding how chemical exposures from our environment can influence the immune system, particularly during pregnancy. I gained interest in this field through experiences working with a cohort in Bangladesh, in which my research showed that heavy metal exposure during pregnancy may impair children’s ability to mount effective vaccine responses. My current research assesses how maternal inflammation may mediate the influence of exposure to chemicals found in everyday consumer products. The goal of my ongoing work is to use innovative technologies and biostatistics to provide evidence about the maternal immune system responds to such chemical exposures, as well as how immunity influences pregnancy outcomes.