RESEARCH PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Jennifer Watts graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2016 with a Bachelor Science in Biology where her undergraduate thesis focused on photodynamic therapies on invasive cancers. As a Ph.D. candidate, Jennifer Watts switched gears to study embryology. Her research focuses on the effects of Zika virus on early embryogenesis. Jennifer utilized both mouse embryos and stem cells to understand infection and development. Her studies will inform epidemiologist the potential health risk of early ZIKV infection in embryos, which has not yet been studied.
OUTREACH PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Jennifer has been and will continue to be a graduate mentor and facilitator of the Michigan State University Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) where she mentors 8-12 undergraduate students across the country across multiple disciplines. As a mentor, she assists students in research writing and presenting (long and short form) as well as prepare students for graduate school application process. In addition to being a SROP Graduate Mentor, Jennifer participates in the Annual Girls Math and Science Day at Michigan State University. She has been a part of the planning committee and hosted interacting activities for middle school girls interested in scientific topics.