Mericien Venzon

Mericien earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Evolutionary Medicine from UCLA in 2014. She first got interested in research as an undergraduate and was awarded UCLA's HHMI Undergraduate Research Scholarship. In the ER,  she assisted in enrolling patients in clinical research trials concerned with investigating serum markers and delivering intra-ambulance therapy to more rapidly identify and treat cerebral ischemia. In the Alfaro lab, she pursued her interests in bioinformatics and eagerness to learn programming by working with large DNA phylogenetic datasets of coral reef fishes. Enthusiastic about exploring applications of these bioinformatic pipelines to studying disease, she became the first to apply models conventionally used in studies of vertebrates to viruses, including flu and HIV, to investigate differential evolutionary dynamics in nonpathogenic vs. pathogenic human viruses.

She matriculated in the NYU MD-PhD program in 2016 and joined the Cadwell Lab in March 2018. Continuing with her passion for integrating principles from ecology and evolutionary biology to studying disease in pursuit of innovative treatment strategies, her current project is looking at the ecology of the human gut, specifically the interrelationships between the microbiome, host immune system, and intestinal parasites to identify new targets for treatment of human parasitic worm infections.

Email = Twitter = @Mericien