Ambassador Spotlight: Anna Chiarella

Nov 20, 2017

By Temperance Rowell

Anna Chiarella is a third-year graduate student in the curriculum of Genetics and Molecular Biology at UNC Chapel Hill. There she studies how certain proteins, called histone tail modifying proteins, affect DNA packing inside of cells. She works in the laboratory of Nate Hathaway.

Courtesy of Anna Chiarella

Anna hard at work in the lab

Anna first became involved in the CONNECT program because she wanted to help inspire an interest in science with the students. She recalled her own middle school biology teacher who encouraged her fascination with science which ultimately led to her present career path. “I enjoy explaining my work and interacting with high school students. I hope to spark at least one person’s interest in the field of science, as was done for me when I was younger.”

Though Anna enjoys working with her CONNECT classroom now, she hopes to pursue a future career conducting translation or clinical research full-time. “I love being able to see how complicated parts of biology work and then applying that information toward the benefit of others. Diseases and mechanisms are like puzzles that are exciting to try and solve.”

Courtesy of Anna Chiarella

Finding a little piece of NC in D.C.

Before Anna moved to NC to pursue a PhD, she attended high school and college in New York. Outside of lab, she enjoys hiking and cliff jumping, which she has done in both states. In her second year at UNC, she also won a half-time raffle allowing her to meet and receive a signed shirt from former professional women’s soccer stars Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, and Tisha Venturini.