I am now a postdoctoral fellow in Adam Arkin's lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. See my new website.
I received my PhD from the Bioinformatics and Biomolecular Engineering program at University of California, Santa Cruz, in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. During my graduate studies, I was supported in part by an NIH training grant, ARCS Foundation fellowship, Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, and a NASA ARP grant that I co-wrote.
I was a student in Todd Lowe's lab and studied non-coding RNA biology in extremophilic organisms, with a focus on archaea. In my research I play at the interface of bioinformatics and molecular biology - I use computational methods to improve predictions of RNA genes and I use biochemistry and molecular biology to generate data and confirm my predictions. In broad terms my projects were (1) studying C/D box and H/ACA box RNA biology in archaea and (2) experimental and computational detection of the kink turn, a 3D structural RNA motif found in all three domains of life and conserved ribonucleoprotein complexes. I used high-throughput sequencing of RNA to inform my computational predictions.
During Summer 2010, I participated in the Google Summer of Code to add RNA support to the multiple sequence alignment editor Jalview. I added visualization of RNA secondary structure in the alignment window based on the secondary structure information of the input file. My blog on the project can be found here. The current version of Jalview (2.8) includes my work.
From 2011-2013, I participated in the Professional Development Program at UCSC. It teaches scientists and engineers how to create learning environments for inquiry, as well as creating lesson plans that are equitable for a diverse set of learners. I was also the President of the Women in Science and Engineering group at UCSC from 2010-2013. This group is dedicated to the advancement, recruitment, and retention of women in STEM.