PhD Candidate – Started 2014
Advisor/Lab: Chad Vezina
Research Interests:Urinary obstruction and lower urinary tract symptoms(LUTS)
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point 2010-2014
Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Minor in Chemistry
I enjoy almost any activity that occurs outdoors, especially under the water. I am an avid free diver and spearfisherman. I also SCUBA dive whenever I get the opportunity. I frequent many local lakes and spearfished both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. My love of the ocean does not stop at the beach as I also love aquariums and reef-keeping, bringing a piece of the ocean to my home. My other interests include hiking, drawing, and watching movies.
Why I Joined METC
My scientific interests have always been firmly planted in the field of biology. However, as I advanced further into my education I soon realized that I had a strong aptitude for chemistry as well. I know that in order to be the most productive member of the scientific community I can be I need to foster both my interests and skill development. The entire field of toxicological research relies heavily on experts with a wide array of interdisciplinary skills. The synergy of biology and chemistry in the study of toxicants and their effects appeals both to my interest in life science and allows me to utilize my skills in chemistry. Making the decision to study toxicology at UW-Madison was easy. The collaborative atmosphere and high-level research and discoveries are the perfect environment for any emerging scientific investigator.
Urinary obstruction and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are pervasive among aging men and represent a significant health care burden. Unfortunately, existing drugs and minimally invasive therapies only moderate these symptoms; they do not treat their underlying basis. Male mice treated with testosterone + estradiol (T+E2) at doses that mimic the hormonal milieu in aging men develop benign prostatic enlargement and a high incidence of urinary retention. Hormone treatment increases prostate and bladder expression of WNT ligands and downstream targets of WNT signaling. Canonical WNT signaling occurs via beta-catenin (CTNNB1), a multi-function protein required for prostate development. My project seeks to understand how CTNNB1 activation in prostate and bladder epithelium mediates cellular and molecular changes that lead to benign prostate enlargement, urinary dysfunction, and fibrosis.