I am a UVA Biomedical Engineering graduate student, by way of UVA Chemical Engineering (undergrad), by way of Boston (GO SOX!). This is the start of my ninth year in Charlottesville and I am embarrassed to say I there are still restaurants here that I haven't tried. In my spare time I enjoy fattening up my two cats and husband with new recipes.
PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering, 2003 - present
Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, May 2003
I am primarily interested the differentiation of vascular smooth muscle from embryonic precursors. Fate mapping studies have shown that the origin of vascular smooth muscle through out the body are diverse and do not arise solely from the mesenchyme. The origin of coronary smooth muscle (SM), for example, has been traced to the proepicardium (PE). A subset of cells from the PE undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transformation (EMT), a fraction of these cells later develop into the coronary smooth muscle. Currently I am working with a murine PE explant model and a carcinoma derived embryonic SM precursor (A404) line to examine the role of extracellular matrix composition and arrangement on cell shape changes that may influence SM lineage commitment and differentiation.