In the summer of 2014, I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Zoology at The University of Florida. During my time as an undergraduate, I became completely fascinated with the role of developmental processes in evolution, and decided to join the lab of Marty Cohn. While there, my project dealt with understanding the genes involved in limb and cartilage development in the cuttlefish and horseshoe crab.
During the summer of 2013, I participated in the Society of Developmental Biology's Choose Development! Program. During this time, I had the opportunity to work in Jeremy Nance's lab (NYU Skirball Institute), where my project focused on the upstream regulators of early axial polarization in the nematode C. elegans.
Currently, as a part of the Harvard's GSAS Post-Baccalaureate Research Scholars program, I am working in the Extavour lab, hoping to gain a better understanding of the evolution and developmental biology of arthropods.
Sharma, P. P., Tarazona, O.A., Lopez, D.H., Schwager, E.E., Cohn, M.J., Wheeler, W.C. and Extavour, C.G. A conserved genetic mechanism specifies deutocerebral appendage identity in insects and arachnids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282: 20150698 (2015)
Tarazona O.A., Slota L.A., Lopez D.H., Zhang G. and Cohn M.J. The genetic program for cartilage development has deep homology within Bilateria. Nature doi: 10.1038/nature17398 (2016)