Hello! My name is Emily Curtis. I am a Biology major with minors in English and Chinese, and I'm from Austin, Texas. I plan to attend medical school for a joint MD/PhD program to contribute to the field of endocrinology in both research and treatment, with a particular focus on type 1 diabetes. My long term goal is to eventually practice and teach medical students. Currently, I am performing both creative research and STEM research in toxicology.
This past summer I began my creative research with the Aggie Creative Collective (ACC). With the guidance of my excellent advisor, Dr. Lowell White, I am developing a thesis exploring the portrayal of eugenics in the fantasy genre, using the American eugenics programs of the 1920s to 1950s as my main reference. My thesis focuses on how eugenics is currently discussed in fantasy, common viewpoints/conclusions, and what aspects are underrepresented. As a STEM major with a love for the arts, I am very grateful for the opportunity ACC provides to combine my interests, and I try to champion research that lies at the intersection of seemingly disparate fields.
Starting last spring, I am also thrilled to be working with Dr. Natalie Johnson at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, where we study the effects of various pollutants on mothers and children. Previously, I worked on a project (culminating in an undergraduate thesis) to determine if prenatal exposure to ultrafine particulate matter (UPM) affected expression of the ACE2 gene in mouse lung tissue. My current project is focused on determining if a filter can be designed to allow nursing mothers with high exposure to PFAS to continue breastfeeding while retaining all the natural benefits.
Outside of academics, I enjoy sketching and reading science fiction and fantasy novels. I am glad to be developing so many of my interests through undergraduate research and programs like ACC, and I'm always looking out for more opportunities to grow and contribute!