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Simone White

Simone White

Education: Ph.D., Genetics, Genomics, and Development, Expected May 2017, Cornell University B.A., Biological Sciences, May 2011, Binghamton University
Honors and Awards: Recipient of Diversity Supplement, Cornell University; Recipient of Sage Fellowship, Cornell University; Distinguished Independent Study Honors, Binghamton University; Dean’s List, Binghamton University, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011; Black Achievement Scholarship, Fall 2008-May 2011; New York State Council of Deliberation Scholarship, Fall 2008; National Honor Society Scholarship, Fall 2008


Career Goals: Currently, my goal is to become a professional scientist in a scientific research agency or industry. I realize this is vague, but after more experiences throughout graduate school, I will be able to determine what career I am looking for. I have much confidence in my graduate program, as I believe the training I am receiving will prepare me to be successful in a variety of scientific careers.

Research: My lab is broadly interested in understanding the role of various genes around the time of reproduction. More specifically, I am interested in understanding the influence of genes on sperm competition, and how these genes interact between male and female Drosophila to impact sperm success. In Drosophila, males are able to complete with each other through sperm competition, in which two or more males mate with an individual female.  The proportion of progeny sired by an individual male reflects its ability to compete with other males. This process, however, is not independent of the female, as there is growing evidence that females are able to actively influence sperm competition. To examine this question, I will be testing knockdowns of candidate genes to determine male genes important during sperm competition, female genes that alter the ability of males’ sperm to compete, and genetic interactions between males and females on sperm competition.


Social Media Information: N/A


What are the three most important pieces of advice you can give to new Research trainees?
Advice: 1) Be confident! 2) When trying to find a new lab, it’s important that the lab is a good fit for you, but it is equally important to realize that you are a good fit for the lab, which can prevent potential problems later on. When interviewing with a new lab, be sure to ask them questions too—interview them! Request to meet with other students in the lab for additional information you may not get from the PI. 3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The more people you have to give you advice for applications, papers, presentations, etc., the better. Something else I thought was really helpful for me when interviewing for graduate school is to have other graduate students, post-docs, or your PI do a mock interview with you. Going through several mock interviews with people who have been through it really helped take some of the stress of me when it was time for my first graduate school interview.

What are the three most notable skills you have acquired through the program?
Acquired Skills: 1) Communication, both written and oral. 2) Practical laboratory skills and computer skills with relevant programs. 3) Ability to start, develop methods for, and complete a research project, leading to conference presentations and a published paper.