Terri Cain

Terri Cain has been fascinated with genetics and how genetics can impact lived experiences since childhood. She hopes to use her skills as a biomedical scientist to discover how molecular regulatory pathways are disrupted in individuals during Sickle Cell Disease.

Cain earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology in 2016 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. During her time as an undergraduate, she began her career as a research scientist and found a passion for epigenetics and the functional consequences transcriptional dysregulation can have on biological systems. She earned her master’s degree in biology in 2019 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and was awarded the Fall 2019 Richard G Neilsheisel Outstanding Graduate Student award. She was also accepted into the National Symposium for Undergraduate Research held at St. Jude in 2018, which convinced her there was nowhere else she would rather be.

She currently works in the lab of Shannon McKinney-Freeman in the Division of Experimental Hematology. There she works on understanding transcriptional and epigenetic dysregulation of stem cells that support hematopoiesis in the bone marrow microenvironment, which may be critical for developing better therapies for individuals with Sickle Cell Disease.

“My best friend was a St. Jude patient and she initially told me about the St. Jude Graduate School,” she says. “I am so thankful to have found this program and am excited for the opportunity to work with such excellent faculty across the hospital.”

Hometown: Hallsville, Texas