Research Technician I at EyeCRO. Graduated with a degree in chemical engineering with a focus on biotechnology from the University of Oklahoma in 2018. I enjoy participating in leadership activities, and ethics and purpose drive everything I do. I hope to be involved in the biomedical, biotechnology, or chemical industry to help people and the environment.
I currently work at EyeCRO, a biotechnology company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as Research Technician I. I work with several pieces of equipment including a viscometer, nanoparticle sizer, LC-MS system, and TECAN robotic workstation to create and scale-up formulations as microemulsion solutions used to deliver drugs as eyedrops. In addition to the chemistry work, I have also been trained to work with mice, rats, and rabbits. In addition to AALAS online certification, I have experience with animal acclimation and topical instillation of eyedrops. At EyeCRO I also worked as an intern for two summers. In addition to becoming accustomed to the work I would end up doing full time, I had the unique opportunity to work with Dr. Krysten Farjo and a team of researchers on a study on the correlation between retinal degeneration and over-expression of retinol binding protein-4 (RBP4) on transgenic mice. For the study, I conducted histological analysis on digital cross-sections of mouse eye cell layers in order to determine drug efficacy. Prior to this internship experience, I gained exposure to the basics of the research laboratory environment as an undergraduate research assistant under Dr. Vassilios Sikavitsas in a bone cancer research laboratory. As an undergraduate research assistant, I learned skills such as sterile technique, cell culturing, and cryopreservation. I also had the opportunity to develop an experiment to quantify the DNA content in cell lines using Quant-iT PicoGreen dsDNA assay kits.
Outside of professional experience, I have enjoyed serving in various leadership roles since high school. At Booker T. Washington High School I was part of student council and a group called Teen Advisory Board, where we hosted events such as a celebration for the 40th anniversary of desegregation, a Tulsa mayoral candidate debate, and a naturalization ceremony for new American citizens. At the University of Oklahoma, I have taken on different campus roles including Academic Affairs committee chair for the Undergraduate Student Congress, where I led a team of 10 individuals to improve quality of academic services at OU, including revamping the advising system. I have been involved with my social fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, previously serving as the chapter secretary where I kept records of all 150+ members, took notes at every meeting, and acted as liaison with all other Greek organizations on campus. I have also been involved in international organizations like the Global Engagement Fellowship, where I was selected to be a part of the inaugural class of a globally-focused program and scholarship that promoted international relations and appreciation for different cultures. This has allowed me to study and explore in uncommon areas, such as classic small-town Arezzo, Italy and the far reaches of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. I am also a member of the Diversity & Inclusion/Multicultural Engineering Program, where I meet with engineering students of different backgrounds to encourage and provide underrepresented students with resources to succeed in engineering. Lastly, I have been heavily involved with the OU chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. I initially served as Historian, keeping records of attendance at all events and taking photos at every event. I then served as Internal Vice President, where I planned and coordinated all conference travel and registration, worked with the treasurer and university to develop and stay within budget, and acted as liaison between AIChE and the College of Engineering and university. I have attended the 2016 AIChE Mid-America Student Conference in Tulsa, OK, the 2016 AIChE National Student Conference in San Francisco, CA, and coordinated the travel and registration to the 2017 AIChE National Student Conference in Minneapolis, MN and 2018 AIChE Mid-America Student Conference in Stillwater, OK.
Personally, I greatly enjoy creative endeavors such as fashion, music, writing, and photography. I love traveling to new places to meet people of different backgrounds and trying food from different cultures. When I find myself in a new city, I love to explore without restriction, allowing myself to stumble upon people, places, and events that I will never forget.