Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
What is your coffeeshop drink of choice? Starbucks Triple Grande, Non-fat, Extra-dry Cappuccino
What skills are important for this career? Critical thinking, creativity, knowledge of basic biology, good oral and written communication, ability to interact and network with people from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds, and a strong moral compass
Who was influential in your career? My high school AP Biology teacher was particularly influential. He encouraged me to pursue a career in biological research with the ultimate goal of running my own lab one day. His course was particularly formative for my career in that it sparked my interest in the analytical interpretation of experimental results and allowed me to practice creative thinking of planning future experiments based on findings.
Bio: Julie finds motivation from many different sources, “One of my favorite aspects of my job is the excitement of a learning something new about the biology of disease. I enjoy meeting and collaborating with a variety of people from different areas of expertise. I also enjoy mentoring young researchers in the lab and teaching them experimental techniques.” After completing a BS in Microbiology from Penn State University, she then moved to Pittsburgh where she received a PhD in Biologicial Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University and trained further with a Post-doctoral Fellowship through an NIH training award to the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative. Her work during that post-doctoral fellowship was highlighted in the “Press Book” for an international meeting, and this gathered a lot of media attention for her research and resulted in press conferences, newspaper and website articles. She says it was one of the most interesting experiences of her career, and “It was very exciting to be able to share our research with a worldwide audience of the general public”.
Julie does her work in the laboratory, in her office, or in her home office. “Most of my time is spent designing and interpreting experiments. This includes reading published studies, talking with collaborators, analyzing raw data, reporting findings in journals, submitting abstracts to meetings and preparing presentations, writing grant applications. I check in with lab personnel and help design and trouble-shoot their experiments and counsel them on interpretation of the results. On any given day, I can be found doing any or all of the above!”
Outside of the lab, Julia likes to spend time with family, and she enjoys cooking, baking, and photography. She’s working to improve home organization and her personal running distance and pace.