Rena Stair is a 2020-2024 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at The University of Kansas Medical Center. After growing up in Chanute, Kansas, Stair attended The University of Kansas and graduated with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. During undergrad, Stair found time to pursue her love of developing future gene therapies at Pfizer, where she completed three stints of hands-on, cutting-edge research. Her graduate research focuses on the role of TIMP-1 in inflammation and nociception. Currently, this investigation has led her down a path to identify TIMP-1’s cellular signaling pathways as well as TIMP-1’s potential involvement with ion channel expression and how together they affect the ability of nociceptors to fire. Stair plans to take her research into the world of biotechnology where she will utilize her skills in neuroscience and genetics to tackle one of today’s most complicated ailments: pain. Outside of the lab, Stair enjoys beekeeping, mead-making, kettlebells, and spending time with her Australian Shepard: Artemis.
Mentor: Kyle Baumbauer, Ph.D. Assistant Professor