I am originally from Detroit, Michigan. I graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina Aiken in 2019 with a B.S. in biology. My time at USCA was spent on several genetics-based research projects including characterizing the genomic population structure of American Woodstorks (Mycteria americana), developing an mPing-based activation tag for crop insertional mutagenesis, and determining the substrate and metal dependance of a carbon cleaving enzyme. I graduated from Clemson University in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Plant Sciences from the laboratory of Dr. Hehe Wang. My thesis focused on characterizing the genetic mechanisms contributing to oxytetracycline and streptomycin resistance in Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni, the causal agent of bacterial spot in peach. This project has contributed to a better understanding of the spread and maintenance of antibiotic resistance genes within peach orchards and has facilitated the development of novel management strategies for bacterial spot.
My Ph.D. research will be conducted under Dr. Lela Lackey and will focus on determining the contributions of alternative splicing to human disease. Alternative splicing is known to play a role in many human diseases, however, the extent of its influence on disease phenotypes is unknown. Several key projects include analysis of RNA secondary structures within human introns, identifying and annotating elements that alter splicing pathways, and understanding how components of the spliceosome affect branch point recognition and 3’ splice site selection. Through this research I hope to further the understandings of alternative splicing and disease, develop novel diagnostic markers, and for the first time, describe the landscape of human intronic RNA structures.
Herbert A, Wang H, Saski C, and Turechek W. 2021. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Xanthomonas fragariae Strains. Microbiol. resour 10: 16. doi: 10.1128/MRA.00138-21.