Justin grew up with an early interest in science, starting with paleontology and progressing to marine biology. In high school, he followed various paths from science to theater and everything in between, obtaining his Eagle Scout award as well as ham radio and SCUBA licenses. While in college, Justin did research in organic and solid-state chemistry while spending his free time in various leadership roles in residential and honors organizations including the foundation of an improvisational theater troupe. In his senior year, he finally settled on pursuing a degree in chemistry, while writing an undergraduate thesis in philosophy and working as an engineer for BellSouth. After two summers as an engineer, he decided that research was an appropriate avenue to satiate his desire for learning new things, and he began working in a molecular biology lab. A short while into this position, he realized that biomedical science was a perfect fit for this stage of his life, and that is where he is now, expanding his scientific repertoire from molecular biology into bacteriology, virology, neurology, inflammation, and oncofertility. He is comfortable writing on a wide range of scientific topics and can sometimes be found drifting into topics such as sociology and world events.
As a child, Shermi once promised her maternal grandfather (a medical doctor) that she, too, would become a medical doctor. However, as her life progressed, she found herself more interested in scientific research than practicing medicine. The moment that solidified her decision came at the end of her 6th grade school year, when her teachers presented her with an award for “best science student.” In college, she participated in an exchange student program that formed as a collaboration with Sichuan University. Not only did this program immediately thrust her into the realm of scientific research, but it also allowed her the unique opportunity to study abroad at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. There, she performed biodiversity research on the local plant flora in a minority region of Sichuan province, as well as worked to improve her Mandarin Chinese. After graduating, Shermi was eager to continue developing and honing her abilities as a research scientist, and enrolled in graduate school to study biomedical science.
Fiber arts, drawing, painting, sewing, and violin are just a few of Shermi’s hobbies, and she enjoys mixing her science background with her penchant for arts & crafts.