Credentials: Cellular and Molecular Biology
Position title: PhD student
Advisor: David Gamm, MD, PhD
Keywords: Retinal diseases, retinal organoids, stem cells
BA 2017, Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Malika’s academic and research interests are best aligned with the field of eye and vision research. As an undergraduate, she worked in clinical research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, and as a summer student at the National Eye Institute (NEI). She gained experience working on natural history studies that tracked the progressive vision loss of patients for multiple retinal disease studies. Ultimately, her experience with clinical eye research inspired her to gain competencies investigating retinal diseases and the physiology of the retina/subretinal space, in-vitro. After graduating, she worked as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the NEI in the Ocular and Stem Cell Translational Research Section. During that time, she developed her skills and knowledge for modeling different retinal diseases, in vitro, using human-derived induced pluripotent stem cell-retinal pigment epithelial (iPSC-RPE) cells. She is eager to expand her knowledge and capabilities working with retinal organoids, and learn more about the RPE and photoreceptor interface.