IRACDA Scholar: David Gray, Ph.D.
PhD: Molecular Biology,
University of California, Los Angeles
NY-CAPS Placement: Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
David is originally from San Diego, CA and obtained his B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA in 2013. He returned to UCLA shortly thereafter and earned a PhD in Molecular Biology in 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Donald Kohn. David’s doctoral work focused on human hematopoietic stem cell editing with CRISPR/Cas9 to develop a novel therapy for X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia, a primary immunodeficiency. For his postdoctoral research, David is transitioning to study extravasation of human tumor cells using zebrafish as a model organism.
Why I chose to join IRACDA NY-CAPS: While I have always felt a passion for research, I discovered my passion for teaching in graduate school. My experiences teaching and mentoring there were so rewarding that it became clear to me that working with the next generation of students and scientists was something I wanted to make an integral part of my career. I have witnessed first-hand how important mentorship can be through the amazing mentors who have supported me throughout my career. The IRACDA NY-CAPS program is an ideal place for me to further develop my pedagogical skills while continuing to grow as a scientist. It is a perfect environment for me to improve on both pillars of my career—research and teaching. The type of hands on teaching experience is invaluable and will help me become the best scientific educator I can be.