Who is Ally, and what is she answering?

I am a student at the University of Florida with a special interest in infectious disease. I was awarded my associate’s degree in 2018, then transferred to UF, where I will graduate this Spring (2021) with a major in pre-professional biology, and my minor in plant molecular and cellular biology.

As a part of my education at UF, I am completing my first independent research project. This project is in association with a lab in the Biomedical Engineering department, with a focus on osteoarthritis pathology and treatment. My project examines the over or under-expression of certain genes linked with glial cell activation and neuroinflammation in the DRG neurons of rats induced with osteoarthritis.

This blog and the series of videos associated with comprise my second independent research project, which seeks to answer the questions of the general, scientifically-curious population surrounding infectious disease and public health. In short, I want to sift through the primary scientific literature so you don’t have to. My intent for this project is to bring nothing but the facts to the table regarding COVID-19 in an accessible, honest, easy-to-digest format, and to discuss current events in health, unusual case studies, or historically relevant diseases as I move through my journey in medicine.

I sincerely hope that this blog and its associated video series will clarify for you some points which have been, regrettably, up to personal speculation due to a lack of scientific outreach. It is my personal belief that researchers, professors, and physicians have an ethical responsibility to inform and interact in a way that is accessible and understandable. The microcosm of COVID-19 shows the critical importance of communication between the scientific community and those who are affected by disease; this time, all of us are affected by this public health crisis, and deserve clear, understandable, unbiased science.

Please contact me if you have questions: I love digging into the pool of literature and providing the most objective answer I can to your COVID-19 related questions – and beyond.

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