Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD in Biological Engineering (Jan 2019)
Mining the human microbiome for clinical insight; thesis, defense

Columbia University, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (2013)

James Bowie High School, Austin, TX (2009)

Research experience

Alm lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014-2019)
Under the direction of Eric Alm

I did my PhD in Eric Alm’s lab at MIT. You can learn more about my research interests on our lab website and on my publications and research pages. You can download my thesis and defense slides, and also view them on my github.

Molecular and Microscale Bioengineering Laboratory, Columbia University (2011-2013) Under the direction of Samuel K. Sia

I was an undergraduate research assistant in Sam Sia’s lab for two years at Columbia. There, I worked on developing a point-of-care microfluidic device to diagnose multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. I primarily focused on the DNA amplification and detection modules, optimizing primers and reaction conditions off-chip.

Laboratoire de Biochimie, Ecole Polytechnique (Summer 2012)
Under the direction of Cedric Norais

I was an international undergraduate research intern at Ecole Polytechnique the summer before my senior year. There, I worked with Cedric Norais to study the acquired-immunity CRISPR system in E. coli.


See publications page.


Oral presentations

Aug. 2019 - “24-hour multi-omics analysis of residential sewage reflects human activity and informs public health.” American Chemical Society National Meeting. Wastewater-Based Epidemiology: Opportunities, Challenges & Applications to Public Health & Safety.

Apr. 2019 - “Intro to microbiome data visualization.” Cornell University 2019 Microbiome Hackathon: Microbiome Hack. Slides:

Feb. 2019 - “Tips, tricks, and philosophies on computational work.” Alm lab summit. Slides:

Nov. 2018 - “Framework for rational donor selection in fecal microbiota transplant clinical trials.” International Conference on Microbiome Engineering.

May 2018 - “Distribution-based methods to increase power and reduce redundancy in microbiome data.” Teaching and Developing QIIME 2 Workshop. (abstract)

Mar. 2018 - “Meta-analysis to identify consistent disease-associated microbiome shifts.” MIT-Harvard Microbiome Symposium.

Feb. 2018 - “Aspiration changes relationships in the aerodigestive microbiome.” Bioengineering and Toxicology Seminar

Oct. 2017 - “Meta-analysis to identify consistent disease-associated microbiome shifts.” MIT Department of Biological Engineering Retreat.

Oct. 2016 - “The human gut microbiome in health and disease.” Bioengineering and Toxicology Seminar

Poster presentations

Mar. 2018 - “Meta-analysis to identify consistent disease-specific and shared responses.” MIT-Harvard Microbiome Symposium. pdf

Mar. 2018 - “Meta-analysis of gut microbiome studies identifies disease-specific and shared responses.” Women in Data Science Cambridge. pdf

Jan. 2018 - “Meta-analysis of gut microbiome studies identifies disease-specific and shared responses.” Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing. pdf

Feb. 2016 - “Empirical signatures of compositional stability in the gut microbiome.” Statistical and Algorithmic Challenges in Microbiome Data Analysis Workshop, MIT Center for Informatics and Therapeutics and The Simons Center for Data Analysis. pdf



20.106 Systems Microbiology, Teaching assistant
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Fall 2015)

I was a TA for seven advanced undergraduate students in a new course on the human microbiome, emerging disease, phylogenetics, and host-microbe interactions. I developed problem sets and guided lecture content for a module on processing and analyzing 16S data, and facilitated and participated in paper discussions on various topics in zoonotic disease, viral communities, host immune responses, and the human microbiome.

UP Biomedical Equipment Technology Department, Lecturer
Engineering World Health and University of Puthisastra, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2013-2014)

During my Luce Year, I worked as a lecturer for Engineering World Health at the University of Puthisastra. I developed curricula for anatomy and physiology, troubleshooting skills, and math in the new Associate Bachelor’s program in Biomedical Equipment Technology. I prepared and delivered lectures, exams, assignments, in-class activities, and demos for two classes of 12-18 Cambodian students and technicians (in English, with a translator). I also managed Cambodian student-teaching staff during my main supervisor’s absence and supported foreign and local teaching staff.

The Art of Engineering, Teaching assistant
Columbia University, New York, NY (2012-2013)

My senior year at Columbia, I TAed the intro to engineering course for first year undergrads. I assisted the students in designing and building a vital-signs monitoring device, guiding them through the engineering design process and teaching concepts in MATLAB and circuitry required for projects. I also mentored and advised students on general biomedical engineering and college-related questions.

Leadership and service

Academic and Professional

MIT Microbiome Club, co-Founder, President (2015-2016), Executive board member (2016-2018)

MIT-Harvard Microbiome Symposium, co-founder and Organizing committee (2016 and 2017)

MIT Biotech Group, Beyond the Bench Initiative board member (2017-2018)

Departmental and MIT

Graduate Student Council Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee, Vice Chair and Department and Classroom Inclusion co-coordinator (2017-2019)

In this role, I coordinated and oversaw semesterly conduit assemblies, which bring together diversity representatives from all MIT departments.

BE Graduate Student Board, Diversity Chair (2015-2018)

As Diversity Chair, I co-started the BE Application Assistance Program, co-wrote the BE Departmental Values Statement, and spearheaded the 2016 BE Diversity Climate Survey, which has informed diversity-related efforts since.

BE Resources for Easing Friction and Stress, BE Ref (2016-2019)

Biological Engineering Department Visiting Committee, Graduate student representative (2018)

Graduate Student Advisory Group for Engineering (GradSAGE), Advisory group to the Dean of the School of Engineering, Advisor/advisee relations subcommittee (2017-2019)


Insight Health Data Science Fellows, Supervised two data science fellows (Sep-Oct 2019).

MIT SuperUROP Program, Microbiome superUROP mentor (2016-2017). Supervised one undergraduate researcher.


Science Club for Girls Young leaders in STEM program (Summer 2016 and 2017). Developed and taught three-day course on microbiology and the human microbiome.

Mr. John Bartucz’s computer science class (2017). Introduction to my career path and research.

MIT SPLASH (2015). “Microbiome 101: What’s in your poop?”

E3: Empowering, Encouraging, and Eliminating Barriers for Women in STEM (2015). Mentor and guest presenter.


I serve as a peer-reviewer in my field. A subset of my peer reviews can be found on my Publons profile.

MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, Reviewer (2015-2018)

MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP), Reviewer (2018)

MIT Committed to Caring, Reviewer (2017)


ESL Program for MIT Service Employees, GED Math tutor (2015-2018)

MIT Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, B-team captain (2015-2016), member (2014-2018)

MIT Interfaith Dialogue Program, Addir fellow (2017-2018)

Fellowships and Awards


Siebel Foundation Scholarship, Class of 2019 Scholar

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, Awardee (2015-2018)

Henry Luce Foundation, Luce Scholar (2013-2014)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention (2015)


PSB Award for Rigorous Secondary Data Analysis, Junior Research Parasite (2019)

MIT Graduate Women of Excellence (2017), pdf

Salutatorian, Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (2013)

Richard Skalak Award in Biomedical Engineering and Robert E. and Claire S. Reiss Prize in Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University (2013)

King’s Crown Bronze Leadership Award, Columbia University (2012)

Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering Honor Society (2012)