Congratulations on receiving the 2021 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Young Investigator Award! How did it feel when you learned you had won?
When I found out I had received the award, I felt a tremendous amount of joy. It was like I was hit with a jolt of adrenaline. After the initial shock wore off, I had a feeling of validation. I felt validated for the hard work I have been putting in, that I was headed down the right track, and that my research had value.
What is the benefit of this award for you and your career?
The ASBMR Young Investigator Award allowed for me to attend and present at the European Calcified Tissue Society’s Digital Master Class. This class was designed for students like me to learn and collaborate with international experts in the field of bone physiology and pathology. I was able to receive invaluable feedback on my research project, get tips on how to navigate the world of academia and industry, and create connections with senior researchers and peers.
Why were you drawn to osteoarthritis research specifically?
I was drawn to osteoarthritis (OA) research for the complexities of the disease. OA is a major public health concern, as it is the most common joint disorder. This painful and debilitating disease has no cure and limited treatment options. The causation is multifactorial, which leads to a wide range of individuals being affected.
How would you describe your work as a graduate research assistant in the Marco Brotto Laboratory?
As a graduate research assistant, I have been afforded the ability to work with world-class researchers. The lab is a highly collaborative environment, as we all work together to elevate our research. My research is geared to understanding the biological mechanisms and functionality of musculoskeletal disease and more specifically osteoarthritis. This research is focused on the relationships between joint tissues (bone, muscle, cartilage) in the onset and progression of disease.
And finally: Why is science so cool?
Science is in everything! If you are passionate for something and start learning more about it, then you are a scientist. It is so amazing what we can learn about! It could be anything: health, space, the oceans, sports, culture, business, and the list could go on and on. Without science, we could not be where we are today.