I am a Research Faculty at The University of Kentucky (UK) through the Division of Biomedical Informatics, UK College of Medicine and a KL2 scholar through the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. I am working with the Markey Cancer Center (MCC) Cancer Research Informatics Shared Resource Facility (CRI) to manage their high-performance computing services. My research interests include the testing and validation of genomic sequence analysis tools and biological simulations for drug discovery and development.
I obtained my PhD in Genome Science and Technology (GST) at the University of Tennessee (UT) where I was also a member of the SCALE-IT program. SCALE-IT (Scalable Computing and Leading Edge Innovative Technologies) is an NSF-IGERT funded program that aims to integrate the fields of computer science and quantitative biology in order to reach new insights on biological questions of high societal value. In addition to my training through GST and SCALE-IT, I obtained a minor in computational science through the IGMCS (Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Computational Science) program at the University of Tennessee.
My graduate school experience started in a computational life science program at UT with degrees in both computer science and mathematics. I did several rotations my first year to find the niche that was right for me. Since my desire was to find an area in which I can use my technical skills to advance translational science of great potential impact, I found my home at the Center for Molecular Biophysics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where I was able to work on developing and using high-throughput molecular docking tools in order to aid the drug discovery process (under the guidance of Dr. Jerome Baudry). With my affiliations with UT and ORNL, I have had the amazing opportunity to use some of the most powerful machines in the world, such as Jaguar, Titan, and Kraken. It has been a great opportunity to both continue advancing my technical skills in the area of high-performance computing and learn about important computational chemistry tools (such as docking) that have important life-changing applications.
Working in fields where women are still the exception, rather than the rule, I am very interested in helping increase diversity and retention of women into technical and advanced careers. I have had many opportunities to attend and present at conferences such as the Grace Hopper conference to both encourage interdisciplinary research and involvement by fellow women and participate in broader engagement activities at important technical conferences such as Supercomputing.
When I am not working I like to stay active and healthy. My interests outside of research include healthy cooking and hot yoga!