I always thought the influence of life showed an endless amount of opportunity inspiring open minds. My academic curiosity and my interpretations of them is what always surrounded me. Intriguing my curiosity of different fields and relationships of science, I have taught myself how to learn abstractly through my art from recollection of transcriptions in:
- Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
- Simple and complex examples of endo and exocytosis
- Active Transport
- Membrane specific large polar molecule interference. Focus on hydrophobicity of cell membrane active and passive (Ca/Na/K) pumps
- Molecular Gradients
- Light perception in retina with PH flux.
- GPCR's (G-protein coupled receptors)
- Imaging cerebellar tissue of genetic CRISPR recombinant specimen using confocal and light sheet microscopy.
- Endocannabinoid system
So, I have decided to take what I have learned in addition to my talents and apply them. So far I have had some failures, but I have been resilient through them. In my approach I have proven myself with my partners to continue at aiming to create a new generation of how we build, learn, grow, and adapt to all that science has to offer.
Emerald Scientific — Manufacturer Distributor
University of Illinois at Chicago— Collective of research labs devoted to neuroscience.
Vanderbilt University — Heidi Hamm lab, devoted to understanding of translation, modulation, and regulation of G-protein coupled receptor function. (GPCR)
The Art Institute of Chicago — Platform for inspiring open minds through a collective of art students wanting to gain real experience in Bio-Medical Visualiztion.
I grew up in a small town and had my fathers grade school teachers. As I grew up I learned something from my observable surroundings. Somethings on construction sites, somethings on classical drafting, somethings on computer aided drafting, somethings on addiction, somethings on depression, and somethings on science. As I grew older I wanted to know what the term chemical imbalance meant, because it seemed that is why my life had incurred so much detriment.
Taking those classical and computer drafting skills mixed with my own therapeutic way of conceptualizing art, I once was given an opportunity to utilize these skills. Even though I was shrouded on some of the hardest pain reliving drugs on the market, I rendered 3D images of synthetic micelle assembly for targeted therapeutic delivery in cancer research.
This allowed researchers to conceptually visualize certain expressed ligands. In broad overview, GFP markers were easily attached to the over expression of ligand. In addition, due to cancer having a greater affinity to folate, assimilation of the micelle would occur acting as a vehicle for therapeutic transport and florescent imaging.
I started to learn more of the language and analytics that inspired my curiosity even further. However, physical set backs stopped me in my tracks, neurodegenerative disk disease became a new obstacle to overcome. As I went through paralysis, managing pain, and countless physical therapy sessions, I continued to always move forward to better understand what was happening to me. It was through family, friends, science, academia, imaging, and art that I found inspiration, confidence, and resilience.
My next opportunity was awarded as a conceptual piece in a co-lab Capstone project with the help of Dr. Sivanthian’s team (UIC). I worked on a microphysics project in the laboratory of Dr. Sivanthian that conceptualized a portable micro-urinary analysis assay for stage III clinical testing. The purpose was to test new drugs in remote locations and wirelessly send data to a doctor for collection and analysis.
However, I suffered another paralyzing back event, and was paralyzed for 3 months. In that time I managed to keep in touch with Dr. Malchow, reading research papers to create an elaborate piece of artwork depicting PH flux in extracellular space showing a new ATP break through finding behind his research. I recovered with only partial paralysis in my left leg after that project. During that time I developed my talent in visualization even further going deeper into my imagination. Then the most amazing thing happened, I stopped using hard drugs and turned to cannabis, and a whole new light was blanketing everything in life. This left me with a renewed focus of my goal of becoming a researcher while specializing in new techniques in biomedical visualization.
I worked closely with a colleague and close friend in Dr. Doug Feinstein's research on neuroinflammation pathways in correlation to Alzheimer's disease. In the Feinstein lab, I worked in collaboration of a proof of concept in CLARITY techniques within UIC labs. This powerful technique allows us to transform tissues into transparent analogs for enhanced imaging and 3D reconstruction. In addition to the co-lab, I was also offered a guest lecturing opportunity at the Art Institute in Chicago. To top it off, I received an invitation for a visualization project showing diffusion of an acute anti-inflammatory research drug for TBI patients.
After completing these projects at UIC, I requested a visit to the Heidi Hamm lab at Vanderbilt University. After my visit, I was offered to platform the CLARITY protocol in Heidi's lab. I started traveling back an forth from Chicago to Nashville and back for some time to platform the CLARITY protocol on GPCR mechanisms. Once the platform infrastructure was in place and funding was available I left Chicago to pursue my dreams in Nashville. I successfully acquired global vascularity images that was under the hypothesis of correlation in morphological changes about the degradation of granule cells in cerebellum.
During my time in Nashville I got another opportunity in a lab. But this particular lab was licensed in cannabis extraction production! I finished my project acquiring images at Vanderbilt and moved out West!
I was introduced to processing hemp and succeeded in a very short time. I got promoted to lab manager by the end. As an accomplished post processor and cannabis lab manager,in addition to insights on cannabis science under my belt, I must say I have really been challenged. In particular, my academic research background, my visualization techniques, as well as my role as lab manager with a specialization in post processing techniques, I aim to help individuals with proper terpene profiling. In addition to streamlining specific extraction workflow timelines to help identify daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly needs. In addition, my scientific knowledge and relationships with industry scientists can be utilized to keep most updated relevant techniques and information.
With my current opportunity with Emerald Scientific I have developed close trusting business relationships. Moreover I am managing these relationships, as well as developing cannabis' best customer service in the industry with every new relationship. While my hands-on work experience provided me a well-rounded skill set in cannabis post processing and streamlining large scale oil production, I also gained a knack for setting milestones for myself.
In my next journey I plan to profile more terpenes in cannabis to create a more relatable customer experience across strains. In doing so I hope to utilize my background knowledge and experience in molecular pharmacology, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, and physics to expand greater insights into how cannabis and it's continuants can be utilized as a natural medicine.