Elise Loppinet | Student Spotlight
"I had the pretty amazing opportunity to visit Stanford when I was in high school, and the experience really stuck with me. During my grad school visits I was reminded of this first impression and was drawn in by the academic excellence and the strong sense of community in the department.
Coming into the program, I was looking for a lab where I could study problems with human health applications. During my first quarter I rotated in Prof. Khosla’s lab, and I found out quickly that it was a great research fit as well as a great work environment, and I was very excited to join the lab. My project is based on understanding how celiac disease works in a cellular and mechanistic manner. Specifically, I am interested in bridging the gap in our knowledge of how gluten peptides, the main antigen for celiac disease, are trafficked in from the extracellular matrix, into antigen presenting cells and ultimately presented on the cell surface. This process is currently something of a black box, and better understanding it will hopefully allow us to find better targets for therapies for this disease that affects a significant portion of the population. I’m looking forward to exploring some of these translational applications in the next part of my PhD.
While conducting research, I have also been lucky to have had the opportunity to mentor three rotation students. Through these experiences I have developed my mentorship skills and each of them has been very fulfilling. I also enjoyed teaching at Stanford – I have been a TA for two different classes, where I got to teach as well as help students develop their critical thinking in a way that was very rewarding. Having a passion for scientific discovery and sharing my excitement for research lead me to want to lead my own research group in the future, where I will continue to be motivated by questions relating to human health.
Some of my favorite moments at Stanford have come from the times when I get reminded of the breadth of exciting research happening within the department and beyond. Convocations, student led colloquia, and poster sessions always leave me inspired by the work of my fellow students and excited to keep pursuing my academic aspirations."