Amgen Scholar at the University of California San Diego 2011
Biology BS, 2012
Rhea was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA to West Indian-American immigrant parents. Currently, she is a junior at Drexel University majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Cell, Molecular Biology, Genetics and Biochemistry. The summer of her freshman year, Rhea performed research under Daniel Marenda, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the departments of Biology and Neurobiology and Anatomy, through the STAR program on the characterization and application of Drosophila as a model for CHARGE syndrome. She was recently credited with her first publication in Human Molecular Genetics entitled “Kismet/CHD7 regulates axon morphology, memory and locomotion in a Drosophila model of CHARGE syndrome.” Furthermore, she has presented her research at numerous conferences and recently placed second at the Minority Access 11th Annual National Role Models Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Last summer, Rhea interned through Drexel University’s College of Medicine Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship under Brian Wigdahl, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology, on the correlation of genetic variation in brain-derived LTR sequences with HIV pathogenesis and disease. Most recently, she has been accepted as an Amgen Scholar at the University of California San Diego. Rhea aspires to have a hands-on career that enables her to impact and interact with others through her scientific contributions and research.