Each episode, a scientist walks us through the basics before jumping into their specific area of research. Learn more about these young scientists below.
Jasmaine Williams is a PhD Candidate in Cancer Biology at Stanford. She grew up in Decatur, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia, majoring in Biology and Spanish. Her current research interests are in public health, women’s health, cancer biology, and health disparities in cancer. Jasmaine’s dissertation, tentatively titled “Elucidating the Role of Vitamin D in Breast Cancer Progression”, examines the role of the multifunctional hormone in breast cancer progression and metastasis. The long-term objective of her research is to develop cost-effective agents for the treatment of breast cancer, while promoting health justice through her academic work.
Jon started his graduate career at Stanford in 2008 and became interested in pursuing a PhD in Biosciences after doing a summer research internship his sophomore year at the University of Pennsylvania. His parent’s, both from the South, are college educated but most of his family is not, nor as he kindly stated, “scientifically inclined.” However, he believes he is truly blessed and lucky to have a family that supports his academic endeavors. In his free time Jon likes to watch and play sports, and teach science to middle and high school students. He is now working at the University of Hawaii, studying the relationships between animals and bacteria.
Sama grew up in Philly, but he now lives in San Francisco where he's getting his PhD in neuroscience. When he was a kid, he wanted to be a zoologist so he can study all the different kinds of animals in the world. Now as an adult, he's realized that that dream really hasn't changed. As a PhD student, he studies how different species of fruit flies evolved to recognize and choose potential mates. Like Tom, Sama is also really into the music scene; he hosts a weekly podcast about vinyl records called "The Vinyl Exam".
Lauren Popov is a graduate student at Stanford School of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology. Her primary research interest is host-pathogen interactions, with a focus on molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis in epithelial tissues. Lauren studies methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. Her work investigates the role of the secreted virulence factor α-toxin during S. aureus colonization and infection. Lauren enjoys dancing, reading, coffee, and travel. She drives a 1965 Ford Mustang.