RNA Featured Researcher – Tasha Thong, Environmental Health Sciences


Tasha Thong
Graduate Student
Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health
Faculty: Justin Colacino

Twitter: @tashathong
Instagram: tashathong
Google Scholar: Tasha Thong


    • What are your research interests? 
      My research is focused on uncovering the biological basis for racial disparities in breast cancer by exploring the relationship between normal mammary stem cells, genetics, and environmental exposures. I believe that this is a pressing public health and environmental justice issue because striking racial disparities in breast cancer have been known for decades, yet today there is still little known about their biological basis.


    • How does RNA relate to your research interests, and why?
      I am using single cell RNA-sequencing to characterize differences in gene expression and stem populations in normal breast tissue from genetically diverse women. I am also challenging these cells to environmental stressors, such as bisphenols, to see their effect on cell morphology and gene expression.


    • Is there a layman image for your research? 



    • Who/what brought you to science?
      My mom is a high school science teacher so I’ve been interested in science for as long as I can remember. I remember making chromosomes out of play dough with her in 1st grade and doing frog dissections in our kitchen!


    • What brought you to the University of Michigan?
      I was interested in Toxicology programs and I was intrigued by the environmental health emphasis of the toxicology research in the school of public health at Michigan.


    • What’s your favorite hobby?
      I really enjoy putting my headphones in and going on long bike rides. I also love taking naps, especially when it’s raining outside!

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