Lauren Rowland has aspired to be an independent researcher in biomedical sciences since the ninth grade. While in high school, she spent hours after class with her honors biology teacher learning extra material. Her desire to pursue her passion solidified when she moved to Shanghai, China in tenth grade. She participated in the International Baccalaureate program, which taught her in-depth information about biology and how to design her own experiments.
Rowland earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in 2019 from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. During her college career, she participated in undergraduate research in a fungal cell biology laboratory. After working in the fungal cell biology lab for two years, she took her current lab project of studying the proteins in cytokinesis and created her own project, which led to the publication of some of her research. After graduation, she worked at St. Jude in the lab of Jun J. Yang, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences for two years. She believes graduate school is an essential step in building her career as an independent researcher and primary investigator.
“Researchers at St. Jude can have a truly translational experience because some questions can only be answered by observing how the disease manifests in the ‘real world’ and not just inside a laboratory,” she says. “St. Jude is a place where there is not a clear separation between the lab and the clinic. Everyone works together towards one goal - helping patients.”
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA