IRACDA Scholar: Jenna Foderaro, Ph.D.
PhD: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Vermont
NY-CAPS Placement: Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Jenna originally hails from New Hampshire. She earned her B.S. in Biology with minors in Chemistry, Mathematics, Sociology, and Anthropology from Saint Michael’s College. This led her to chase scientific research at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and to deliberately pursue a path that would allow her to conduct research aimed at the amelioration of human infections. At the University of Vermont, her graduate work focused on the development of novel molecular and biochemical tools to identify drug targets in the human parasitic pathogens Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium, both of which are related to Plasmodium (causative agent of malaria). Her current postdoctoral work at Stony Brook University in the laboratory of Dr. James Konopka, focuses on spatially and temporally defining the host (mammalian) oxidative response and its impact on Candida albicans during infection. She spends most of her free moments developing her skills as an inclusive educator and science communicator.
Why I chose to join IRACDA NY-CAPS: My interest in the IRACDA NY-CAPS Program stems from a long-standing desire to advance myresearch training in the biomedical sciences with a concomitant development of effective teaching and mentorship skills. Thus far, my journey as an educator/mentor has been humbling, exciting, and rewarding. However, it has also made obvious the barriers present to minority participation in science. As such, I am committed to creating an inclusive learning environment where the freeflow of ideas takes precedence over gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Throughout my career, I have sought out experiences that allow me to use, and appreciably augment, both my teaching and research skill set. To that end, the IRACDA NY-CAPS program is ideal as it aligns with my goal to develop both as a researcher and educator, so that I may excel in making a clear and tangible difference in the lives of students and beyond.