I’m originally from the small island of St. Martin, Netherlands Antilles. I moved with my family to North Carolina in 2001, where I eventually attended UNC Chapel Hill (go heels!). After receiving my bachelor’s degree in Biology, I worked as an intern or volunteer in various veterinary and microbiology-related positions, trying to find my place in science. I joined the Brindley lab here at UGA in 2015, where I narrowed my focus on viruses and investigating viral entry into host cells.
I study how enveloped viruses, specifically Lassa and Ebola viruses, enter cells. A wide variety of enveloped viruses (including Lassa and Ebola) can attach to surface receptor proteins on clearance cells typically used by these clearance cells to take in and degrade dying cells. The viral envelopes mimic that of a dying cell in order to enter via these receptors, then replicate without facing degradation. I’m investigating how viral envelopes obtain the components needed to engage these dying cell receptors.
B.S. Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2009-2013