College:College of Medicine
Degree Programs:Biomedical Sciences MS
Biomedical Sciences PhD
Research Focus:Immunology and allergies, specifically discovering novel receptors and mechanisms involved in the innate immune response to the house dust mite, the most common aeroallergen associated with allergic asthma.
Madelyn Miller is a doctoral student in the Biomedical Sciences program. Miller received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Sociology from Wittenberg University in 2016, and her Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from UCF in 2018. Miller, an Indiana native, was drawn to study at UCF because of the numerous resources offered to students, as well as UCF’s diversity and opportunities for growth and achievement.
Coming from a smaller school to UCF, Miller appreciates the variety of resources that UCF has to offer, such as extracurricular activities, health services, wellness programs, and recreational events. One of the aspects of her program that she enjoys is that the biomedical sciences program is a close-knit community where everyone knows each other well and lends support to one another, while still having the resources of a large institution.
Miller’s research, which she does in Dr. Justine Tigno-Aranjuez’s lab at the Lake Nona Campus, centers around discovering novel receptors and mechanisms involved in the innate immune response to the house dust mite, the most common aeroallergen associated with allergic asthma. Miller says that Dr. Tigno-Aranjuez positively influences her work daily. She also has praises for Dr. Claudia Andl, who inspired Miller to come to UCF, and Dr. Annette Khaled. About Dr. Khaled, Miller says, “She was an engaging professor who helped create an enjoyable classroom experience. In her seminar class, we gave quick five-minute flash talk presentations on our work. I found this helped develop my public speaking skills while making me more adept at addressing non-scientific audiences about research.”
During her time at UCF, Miller has received the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, two travel awards to present her work at the Society of Leukocyte Biology’s annual conferences, and, most recently, the departmental Solomon Klotz Excellence in Immunology or Asthma Research this year to help fund resources for her project. Miller also recently published a journal article in the “Journal of Leukocyte Biology,” which made the cover.
To her fellow graduate students, Miller recommends staying involved in activities outside of school, such as yoga, running, reading, community events, volunteering, or doing arts and crafts. “Try to maintain a healthy work-life balance,” she says, “This will help you be happy, healthy, and successful.” Miller takes her own advice, going to yoga classes and running in her free time. She also tutors local high school students and was the president of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Association last year.
Miller plans to graduate in spring 2021, after which she hopes to work for a biomedical research company or go to medical school.
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