Ph.D. student, Department of Biological Sciences
Michele received her first exposure to biological research after participating in a field-to-bench study on snake fungal disease. Michele and her team took trips throughout East Texas sampling snakes for the opportunistic fungus. Her team then processed the samples through DNA extraction and qPCR, while also starting cultures of the fungus. She was then authored on a paper, “Incidents of snake fungal disease caused by the fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophidiicola in Texas.” Michele also learned how to use the confocal microscope to perform advanced imaging on the fungus. At SMU, she will apply her laboratory techniques along with her capability to work with live animals to epilepsy research that uses live mice models.
ROAD TO THE MOODY SCHOOL:
Michele cultivated a love for science while studying conservation and microbiology as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Tyler. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in biology, she began working as a lab technician for Joseph Glavy at UT Tyler’s Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy. This gave her invaluable lab experience and a greater understanding for how labs run and operate. This summer, Michele and her husband, Justin, moved from their hometown in Tyler to Dallas for Michele to pursue her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology at SMU.