Photo of Carmen Maria Conroy

Energetic, Compassionate, Focused

NSF CAMP and UC LEADS Research Scholar

I am a native San Franciscan who loves her home state of California. In the past, I have mostly studied different stem cells in diverse niches, ranging from lung stem cells that are active during epithelial lung repair and regeneration to brain stem cells that proliferate excessively after traumatic brain injury. I also have experience studying malaria diagnostics and the molecular mechanisms of drug cocktails used to treat melanoma. In the future, I want to apply my knowledge of stem cell characteristics to understand female reproductive pathologies that result from abnormal stem cell proliferation and differentiation, which can result in cancer. I believe that every woman should have access to adequate basic reproductive, prenatal, and health care. As a prospective MD-PhD, I would like to work as an obstetrician/gynecologist to ensure that the discoveries I make in the lab have concrete applications with the patient population that I work with. My goal is to be a Primary Investigator (PI), practicing physician, professor, and academic researcher in a community where I can provide care for women from marginalized demographics and serve as a mentor to traditionally underrepresented students in the college setting.

I am currently doing research in the laboratory of Dr. Jason Rock at the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Anatomy. My research project is entitled “Proliferation of Myeloid Cells in Pneumonectomy-Induced Adult Murine Lung Regeneration”. My mentor and direct supervisor is Andrew Lechner, a MD-PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences program at UCSF. I love my lab! In the past, I have published the following: Conroy CM, Vazquez O, Soudi, LM. Detection of malaria parasitemia for hotspot identification: employment of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) in remote clinics in Kenya. Annals of Global Health (formerly the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine). 16 August 2014.


“NERDS is my second family. I absolutely would not be where I am today had I not been given the opportunity to participate in the UC LEADS or NSF CAMP programs. Entering the NERDS office for the first time my sophomore year was the first time I felt truly welcome at UC Berkeley, and the first time that I felt there were people at UCB who cared about my success and were personally invested in my academic career. Diana, Chris, and all of my fellow NERDS have consistently listened to me and helped to move me forward in every way possible. Some of my closest friends at UCB are other NERDS, people I can stay up super late studying with in Stephens Hall and who always have my back when I need help with physics or biochemistry. Lastly, I have learned so much about pursuing a career in academia from my time with NERDS. Before coming to UCB and securing my first research position with help from NERDS, I didn't even know what a PhD was. I had never held a pipette. I didn't know what the abbreviation "PI" stood for. There are no scientists in my family. Maneuvering my way around the UCB campus and finding the resources to succeed academically were hugely challenging for me. NERDS introduced me to academic research, made me believe that was something feasible for me to pursue academically, and helped me find my scientific passions. ”

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