Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Department of Immunobiology, under the mentorship of Dr. Nikhil Joshi. Her current project is focused on understanding how cancer escapes the immune system during early-tumor development and through resistance to checkpoint blockade therapy. Specifically, how neoantigen heterogeneity amongst cancer cells impacts escape of T cell immunosurveillance. Her goal is to discover immunoediting pathways that tumors exploit to evade T cell control, identifying targets for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology with a minor in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), earning her degree with honors distinction. She started doing research in centrosome biology, studying mechanisms of cell division in C. elegans in the Oegema/Desai Lab during her undergrad at UCSD. Jennifer also completed a senior thesis project in Dr. Enfu Hui's lab, studying the structural components of the immune checkpoint molecule, PD-1. She gained an interest in biochemical techniques and intravital imaging through her undergraduate research experience.
She is currently a trainee under the Yale Cancer Biology Training Grant for predoctoral students. She is also a fellow in the Yale Biological and Biomedical Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Collective (YBDIC). As a first-generation Mexican American scholar, Jennifer strives to empower historically-underrepresented students in science.
Education & Training
- BS (Hon)University of California, San Diego (2021)