The Sci-Files – 3/17/2019 – Jennifer Watts – Zika

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

To kick off The Sci-Files, Daniel and Chelsie interview Jennifer Watts. Jennifer is a Doctoral Candidate with the Physiology Department at Michigan State University. She is also the President of the Physiology Graduate Student Council.

On this episode, Daniel and Chelsie interview Jennifer on her research with the Zika virus (ZIKV). ZIKV emerged in Brazil in 2015, causing detrimental effects on newborn babies. Aside from transmission via mosquito, ZIKV is to also sexually transmitted, which introduces the possibility that ZIKV infection could occur in early development. Jennifer’s lab wants to understand how the Zika virus affects early development using a mouse model. Her studies are significant to human health because they will further knowledge of ZIKV infection in early pregnancy and outcomes for newborn children.

Besides research, she is passionate about leveraging her achievements to promote inclusivity in science. She is a member of the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). AGEP represents and advocates for individuals underrepresented in the science field through meetings and community service.

Twitter: @jleticiawatts

If you’re interested in talking about your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Chelsie and Danny at [email protected] You can ask questions about future episodes here. Check The Sci-Files out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!