“I was always good in art and in biology. That was a real struggle for me; which one am I going to pick? But you don't have to pick one. I was in studio art around the same time that the Human Genome Project was getting a lot of press. I was inspired by it and the implications it would have for people. I was a single mom and I didn't really see how I was going to be able to support myself with studio art. Of course, you can. There are people that do it. But it's hard. And not very many do it successfully. So I changed to biology full time, with a long, drawn-out process to get my degree from there. Because I was also a mom!”
Do you see any parallels between studio art and science research?
“Thinking creatively is important in science. The people who make the best researchers are able to imagine creative reasons why something might be happening a certain way or creative ways to devise a piece of equipment that doesn't exist. You have to figure out a way to solve a problem in your research. So the skills I learned in welding and making sculptures might help someday in making a scientific piece of equipment.”