I'm a neuroscientist and developmental biologist. I received my PhD in Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology from the University of Louisville's Medical School. I received postdoctoral training as a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) fellow, as well as additional postdoctoral genetics, clinical, and computational research training. Currently, I am a Research Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine at Greenville. My laboratory is located within the Department of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Prisma Health.
The Personal Side
My research focuses on autism, genetics, and hereditary connective tissue disorders, but I'm fascinated by all things biology. Science is my work, my passion, and my hobby. I relish reading history, especially as it relates to the development of the sciences. I am also a hobby-paleontologist, enjoy antique collecting, a bit of drawing and photography, reading epic fantasy, love a good strong black tea, knitting, and spending time with my family (both the human and furry varieties).
In addition to my research interests in EDS/HSD, I am a zebra myself and am passionate about patient advocacy.
You can read more about my work and interests at my blog, Science Over a Cuppa.
The zebra is used as a symbol for all rare diseases, but has been used by the Ehlers-Danlos community especially. It's based on the old adage, "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras." In this instance, however, rare conditions are the zebras. In fact, rare diseases occur in 1 in 10 people, making them, collectively, quite common. There are zebras all around us!
Mixed media (watercolor, ink) rendition of CNTNAP2 expression (an autism risk gene) in embryonic mouse using human-specific and chimp-specific enhancers. Based on Prescott et al. 2015. Cell, 163, 68-83. Artwork by Dr. Casanova.