I am broadly interested in understanding the complex mechanisms that guide brain development. The brain is made up of billions of cells that facilitate the beautiful array of animal behaviors that exist on earth. While neurons are well known for their ability to assemble into neural circuits to drive behavior, 50% of the human brain is comprised of a diverse set of non-neuronal cells called glia. I have dedicated my scientific career to understanding how glial cells instruct proper nervous system development and function. For my doctoral work (Washington University School of Medicine), I used vertebrate models (zebrafish and mouse) to uncover novel genes necessary for formation of myelin− the insulating coating that surrounds our nerves and is commonly dysfunctional in multiple sclerosis. This work garnered 9 publications in scientific journals, including Nature Communications, Neuron, and eLife. As a postdoctoral fellow (Doe lab, University of Oregon and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), I extended my work into the fruit fly in order to examine how glial cells called astrocytes influence the neural circuit plasticity, from individual neuronal synapses to behavior. This work has produced 3 publications in scientific journals thus far, most recently in Nature.