For years, Brown University M.D./Ph.D. student Angel Byrd had dedicated herself to studying how immune system cells capture invading fungal pathogens. Like those cells, called neutrophils, she had seized on seemingly every opportunity that had come her way.
In high school she was the valedictorian and won a 10-year Gates Millennium Scholarship. As an undergrad at Tougaloo College she earned the opportunity to do summer research in China on gene expression and was named a Leadership Alliance scholar. Later at Brown she earned a research internship at drug giant Eli Lilly, and has piled up awards for research posters. Twice she met with senators and representatives on Capitol Hill on behalf of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. And after she won a coveted United Negro College Fund/Merck Graduate Fellowship in 2011, she sparkled on televisions around the country in a segment featuring her on BET.
Recently we spoke with Miss Byrd to know more about her research work, why this is important, and how life as a research scientist is. But before proceeding with our questions to Miss Byrd, let us learn on her childhood from her own words: (more…)