Christy LaFlamme has always been fascinated by the multidisciplinary application of biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science to study biomedicine. Her desire to conduct research at the intersection of various disciplines and to translate those scientific discoveries into solutions to biomedical problems is what led her to St. Jude.
LaFlamme received her bachelor’s degree in biological and physical sciences with a concentration in biomedical chemistry in 2020 from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, Florida. She conducted most of her undergraduate research at The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus in the Departments of Chemistry and Neuroscience. Her senior thesis, which earned an outstanding thesis award, aimed to investigate mTOR growth signaling as a point of convergence for autism risk genes in addition to developing computational methods for neuronal analysis. She was accepted into the National Symposium for Undergraduate Research held at St. Jude in 2019, which is where she realized that the St. Jude Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences was the perfect place for her to pursue her graduate education and explore translational research.
She currently works in the lab of Heather Mefford, MD, PhD in the Center for Pediatric Neurological Disease Research, a Division within the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. There she investigates genetic causes of developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and related pediatric neurological disorders.
“Coming from a family with a deep-rooted passion for helping children, I am excited to be a part of the ongoing effort at St. Jude to eliminate catastrophic childhood illnesses,” she says. “I am determined to be at the forefront of scientific discovery in order to contribute to increasing our understanding of pediatric diseases to
Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Levy J, LaFlamme C, Tsaprailis G, Crynen G, and Page D. Dyrk1a mutations cause undergrowth of cortical pyramidal neurons via dysregulated mTOR signaling. Biol Psychiatry April 3, 2021; S00006-3223(21): 00079-2.