Hi, I'm Irene.
As a genetics PhD student coming from a family of non-scientists (a banker, a store manager, and a fashion designer), I realized the importance of effective science communication even before I started exploring #scicomm careers. The gap that exists between the scientists with their mountain of knowledge and the general public who is eager to make informed choices motivated me to dive into science writing and outreach.
I am currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan's Department of Human Genetics, working under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Wilson and Dr. Thomas Glover. My thesis project examines how copy number variants (CNVs) are formed. CNV is a deletion or a duplication in your DNA. Although many of us have CNVs without any consequences, some CNVs are detrimental for our health. Cancer, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder are just a few among many diseases and conditions associated with CNVs. Read more in-depth about my research here.
I was the editor-in-chief for MiSciWriters during the 2016-2017 academic year. MiSciWriters is a student group that trains researchers to write about science to the general public. For two years I was the only graduate student news reporter at The Michigan Daily, my university's student-run newspaper. I focused on science, technology, and medicine, covering topics ranging from a cutting-edge cancer research to the Pokemon Go craze in 2016. In summer of 2016, I volunteered as a senior news editor, advising research, hospital, and campus life beats.
Last year, I received a travel fellowship from DiverseScholar to attend the Science Writers 2016 conference in San Antonio, Texas. Earlier this year, I was chosen as one of 50 participants for the ComSciCon workshop in Chicago.
After PhD, I am planning to pursue science communication full-time and volunteer as a science advocate to encourage the public appreciation of science.