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About Me

I recently defended my PhD in Genetics at Stanford. My dissertation title was "Advances in CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Engineering Technologies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Tests for Cis-regulatory Evolution" I did the majority of my PhD work in lab of Ron Davis at the Stanford Genome Technology Center, where I still currently work. The majority of my work has concerned optimizing and leveraging CRISPR genome engineering technologies. We recently worked out as set of rules for gRNA design for using CRISPR-Cas9 based engineered repressors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These artificial repressors can be targeted to the TSS of genes and repressor gene expression. This is also known as CRISPR interference (CRISPRi). You can read more about that work here: Quantitative CRISPR interference screens in yeast identify chemical-genetic interactions and new rules for guide RNA design.

In addition I have worked on a variety of other projects using CRISPR including using CRISPR activators to activate multiple genes predicted to give resistance to the drug citrinin when over expressed to confirm this phenotype ( Dissecting the Genetic Basis of a Complex cis-Regulatory Adaptation), and two other projects currently in submission working on CRISPR specificity and another new technology allowing for the creation of large collections of individual CRISPRi strains.

I have been involved in the genome engineering field for some time. As an undergraduate I studied molecular biology at UCSD and worked in the lab of Carlos Barbas III on zinc finger recombinase technologies. In the years between undergrad and grad school, I started a tutoring company (Superb Tutors), traveled the world, and worked as a Divemaster. I would highly recommend that current undergraduates take time off between college and graduate school. I really feel it is great to get to experience the world outside school as an adult prior to jumping into graduate school.

I decided to return to graduate school because I am very interested in science, especially biology. It is amazing to me in the 10 years between when I graduated from college (2006) and today (2016) we have seen the advent of next generation sequencing, oligo pool synthesis on arrays, and CRISPR genome engineering technologies which combined unlock our ability to ask biological questions on a scale that was unimaginable when I was an undergraduate.

I am also interested in entrepreneurship. In 2013 I was fortunate enough to get to participate in Stanford Ignite, an intensive 4 week program in the Graduate School of Business where I worked with a team to put together a business plan based around an idea I had had and pitch it to a panel investors. I really think advising, working at, or launching a startup developing cutting edge science and applying this science to solve a real world problem would be particularly exciting.

In addition to working as a graduate student I have several hobbies which I really enjoy. I really enjoy being part of the Stanford Kayak Club (http://www.stanfordkayakclub.com/) and have really been getting into whitewater kayaking. It's a great crew and I recommend anyone who is a student at Stanford to check it out. When I get a chance I like to go to Monterey to go scuba diving. Diving is also one of my favorite sports. There is nothing like being weightless in a world completely foreign to the everyday experience. Also check out my photo page. I love photography, especially nature photography and underwater photography when I have time.

Updated April 2016