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Meet Ashley Brate

Ashley Brate, banner
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Name of graduate program: Immunology
Undergraduate institution: University of Minnesota
Hometown: Grayslake, Ill.

Why did you choose the University of Iowa to pursue your graduate degree?

When I interviewed at the University of Iowa, I could tell it was a collaborative environment. The graduate students were passionate about their science and seemed genuinely supportive of each other. It was easy to see myself making friends and becoming a successful scientist here. 

What type of research are you performing?

My research focuses on understanding the role of CD8 T cells, which appear to having a disease-ameliorating function, in Multiple Sclerosis.

What do you hope to do after you earn your degree?

After I earn my degree I would like to pursue a career in translational research and developing therapeutics.

What is something that surprised you about the University of Iowa or your graduate program?

When I came to graduate school I thought every day would be basically the same, I would just go to classes and then to lab. Instead, every year has been different and brought unique challenges and responsibilities.  

What is your favorite part about being a graduate student?

My favorite part about being a graduate student is sharing my research, whether at a national conference or here at the University. My program excels at instructing students in giving professional presentations, and I have definitely enjoyed that aspect of my training. 

Who is your biggest role model and why?

I have to say my mom, a fearless woman and admirable scientist who always encourages me and my sister to make a career doing what we love.

What are some of your personal interests?

I really enjoy volunteering in education outreach at the University of Iowa/s Museum of Natural History. It’s so rewarding to work with children and see the next generation getting excited about science and nature.  

A piece of advice for incoming graduate students.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers and mentors for advice and support along the way! There is always someone who has been in your shoes and willing to help.