Esrah Du (G3, Catteruccia/Dvorin labs)

Where are you from and what do you enjoy most about your hometown?

I am from Westford, MA, a small town right on the border with New Hampshire. My favorite thing about my hometown is the small apple orchard, Drew Farms, especially in the fall.

What is your research focused on?

My research very broadly focuses on the basic biology ofPlasmodiumoocysts, including understanding critical cellular changes involved in sporozoite formation and how the parasite interacts with and relies upon its mosquito host for successful growth.

What is your favorite part of your research?

Because of the intersectional nature of my work, I love that I get a chance to collaborate with so many different people in the lab. The cool microscopy I get to do doesn’t hurt either! To perturb the ultrastructural details of dividing oocysts, I have gotten to use state-of-the-art microscopy techniques, which is truly what all cell biologists’ dreams are made of 🙂

How do you relax when you’re not working?

When not in lab, I love to go for bike rides with friends, particularly along the Charles in the summer. I am also an avid reader, lover of BIG plants, and have the world’s silliest cat.

Tell us about an activity outside of lab you’re involved in and why it’s important to you.

A major part of my grad school experience outside the lab has been the chance to hone my teaching skills. I am currently a TF for one of the undergrad intro life sciences courses which is an opportunity I’m deeply excited about. I think undergraduate teaching is such a critical part of science outreach and can have a huge impact on the desire for young scientists to pursue further studies and careers in the medical and life sciences.