My name is Michelot Michel, a South Florida native, and first-generation Haitian-American. I grew up in Miami as an only child. Without any siblings to amuse me, I developed a curious mind for the world around me. As I grew older, this curiosity transformed into an immense appreciation for science and discovery. I later attended high school at Maritime and Science Technology (MAST) Academy because of its strong marine science and college preparatory program. My time at MAST allowed me to explore my love for science while developing a desire for community service. This led me to pursue a career in medicine as it effortlessly combined my passion for science, discovery, and service. Four years later, I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences with Honors, having completed several research projects that encompassed biomedical sciences and marine conservation. After graduating from college, I joined the EM Papper Clinical Immunology Lab at the Miami VA Medical Center as a Clinical Research Assistant. My work currently focuses on elucidating molecular markers and therapeutic targets for immune-related disorders such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Illness. The latter of which is focused directly on the US military veteran population who served in the Gulf War. As of late, I am in the process of applying to medical school, where I hope to continue my pursuit of a medical career filled with service and the advancement of knowledge.
Synopsis of Research:
The Environmental Epigenetics lab at Florida International University is a research group devoted to understanding the epigenetic mechanisms in marine organisms in response to changing environmental conditions. Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not involve changes in the DNA sequence. Some notable epigenetic mechanisms include histone modifications, DNA methylation, and RNA silencing. This particular study aimed to characterize the seasonal patterns in DNA methylation in the gill tissue of the flat tree oyster (Isognomon alatus) and its response to temperature, pH and salinity variations in Miami’s Northern Biscayne Bay. The results of this work will help pave the way for expanding environmental epigenetic analyses and their application to the management and conservation of diverse ecologically and commercially relevant marine species.