I started in the Woodruff Lab in August ’08 as a graduate student working on my PhD. I earned my BS in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development from the University of Minnesota in ’05 where I worked in a lab that studied capacitation, a process that sperm must go through before they can fertilize an egg. My project now is concentrated on studying the importance of metal ions during meiotic maturation in mouse oocytes. Metal ions are important to maintaining the structure and function of many proteins, and I’m trying to find out how changing their availability affects the oocyte. I hope that my work will help us understand the basic biology of oocyte maturation and how conditions used clinically can be optimized to produce the healthy oocytes.