I study how our bodies and those of other animals detect virus infections and mount responses to protect themselves. Viruses are a serious threat to animal health, both humans and farmed animals, such as fish.
Immunology has always inspired me, but the person who first captured my imagination was Polly Matzinger, PhD. She was, among other things, a jazz musician and a Playboy bunny before she decided to change her focus to immunology. Soon she was turning convention on its head, making scientists rethink the immune system and how it works.
I remember thinking as an undergraduate student, "Wow, she is cool; you can be cool, powerful and a woman in science? That’s what I want to do and be."
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