A Conversation with …

… Elise about her research and why she is involved with STEM outreach.

What is your current position?

I’m currently a PhD Student in Biomedical Engineering at Yale.

Where did you go to college?

University of Texas at Dallas.

Where did you grow up?

Carrollton, Texas.

What was your favorite subject in high school?


Who is your STEM role model?

Bill Rector! He was the math teacher at my high school, and super amazing!

What is the focus of your research?

I use computers to study how the cells in our bodies make proteins(very small building blocks that make up everything in your body). By replicating the cell within a computer, I can make changes that test how a cell will respond!

What is the coolest part of your job?

The coolest part of my job is being able to explore research questions on the edge of my field! And I get to do this every day!

Why did you decide to go to grad school?

I really liked math growing up, and always knew I wanted to be an engineer. It wasn’t until college that I realized that human biology can be understood through math equations! Now in graduate school, I’m the one writing the equations to understand our bodies and cells!

What is your favorite part about doing STEM outreach?

At outreach events, middle school and high school students are often approaching activities (and the science behind those activities) for the first time, I love seeing the excitement as a student gets a hard concept for the first time.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have a cat named Halley (after Halley’s Comet).

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