Erienne Norton’s interest in science began over a decade ago when her mother was diagnosed with invasive, stage IV breast cancer. As a result of her personal connection to such a devastating disease, she developed a deep-rooted desire to spend her life advancing science so that no one would have to struggle with the pain, worry, and fear that come with the diagnosis of an incurable illness.
Norton earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry (biochemistry concentration) in 2019 from Montana State University in Bozeman. After three years of academics and receiving initial and twice-renewed funding from the NIH through the Montana INBRE program to work on a research project focused on recombinant protein production, Norton knew that research would be a large part of her future career. She joined the SJGS in 2021 after spending two years working as a research assistant and laboratory manager at Ohio State University studying the dynamics of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Norton is highly motivated by a profound desire to improve the lives of others and is passionate about teaching and sharing science with those who have limited experience. She had the privilege of mentoring several students in the years leading up to graduate school and found great joy in teaching them the theory and application of the techniques that she uses. Norton is looking forward to building a career focused on STEM outreach and scientific mentorship after completing her PhD.
“The connections St. Jude has to other global outreach programs in Asia, Singapore and other countries around the world is an incredible asset to this program academically,” she says. “I have been inspired by how the hospital has partnered with groups such as the World Health Organization to fulfill Danny Thomas’ dream of saving children everywhere.”
Hometown: Wasilla, Alaska