As a child, Sandra lost family members to chronic illness, and sought understanding in science, fascinated by the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind disease mechanisms. She was inspired to pursue training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her BS in 2018 in Molecular and Cellular Biology. After graduation, she joined the lab of Aseem Z. Ansari as a research technician studying mechanisms of synthetic transcription factors.
As a technician, Sandra’s passion for molecular biology grew immensely- she became fascinated by how much is left to be understood in the field of transcriptional regulation, realizing that a deeper understanding in the basic science underlying critical cellular processes can reveal opportunities for new and improved therapies. Sandra believes St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the best place to combine her passions for fundamental science and clinical impact. In her dissertation work, she is working to understand molecular mechanisms of chromatin and transcriptional regulation.
Hometown: Morton Grove, IL