Quiana Wilkerson Vidal

January 26, 2022

Quiana Wilkerson-Vidal is a PhD Student in Biotechnology at the University of Alabama Huntsville. She is currently a FLARE Intern and serves on the Patient Engagement Committee. 

The Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology (FLARE) program provides basic science, clinical research trainees, and junior faculty from underrepresented minority communities who have demonstrated achievement in endocrine research.

Personal Statement

I have loved science since I was a child, and as an undergraduate student I had the opportunity to work as a student research assistant and animal care technician for a Zoology lab at the University of Florida. I enjoyed learning how to conduct research and the camaraderie of the lab setting. After graduating from UF, I decided to work in a library and received a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. I enjoyed working in a library, but I really missed learning about science and conducting research.

When my daughter was born, she experienced hypoxia in utero which caused her to have brain injury. She was treated at Shands at the University of Florida teaching hospital and was offered treatment from a recently concluded clinical trial. As I researched her treatment, the mouse studies that led to it inspired me to want to research human diseases. I hope someday that my research helps someone like that treatment helped my daughter.

After my family joined the US Army in 2011, I decided to go back to school to obtain a PhD in  Biology or health-related field. It has been a long journey, but I was very excited to be accepted in the PhD in Biotechnology program at the University of Alabama Huntsville in Fall 2018 and joined Dr. Sharifa Love Rutledge’s biochemistry lab in 2019 to study glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in LEW.1WR1 rats.

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