I grew up in Marion, Iowa and graduated from George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2008. I continued my education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will graduate in May 2012 with a major in biochemistry and a certificate in mathematics. As an undergraduate, I studied a bacterial DNA gyrase inhibitor family, now known as the gyramides, in the lab of Professor Douglas Weibel. My research included identifying the target of the gyramides by screening for spontaneously resistant mutants and performing a variety of assays to begin to elucidate the mechanism of action against DNA gyrase (Foss, et al., ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 2011). Additionally, I was involved in a number of science outreach programs, which included leading interactive science activities for two science clubs consisting of third graders through middle school students. My research and coursework has inspired me to continue with research in microbiology or a related field. I am interested in research related to the interaction of microorganisms with their human hosts and the resulting disease states that can develop. I am excited to be joining the program and am looking forward to being involved in biomedical research at the graduate level.