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Graduate Education

Desiree Shasa

M.S. Reproductive Biology

Education History

I received my Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science, Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Research option from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Research Project:

Using sheep as a model, my research evaluated maternal overnutrition during pregnancy and how an obese intrauterine environment can alter fetal development.  My thesis research primarily focused on the F2 generation, and myself, along with my colleagues, determined that altered fetal development can result in metabolic  disturbances in postnatal life, such as insulin resistance, increased appetite, and obesity, which can be passed on from one generation to the next.  Therefore, you may be what your grandmother ate!

Why I chose UW for graduate education:

I became aware of UW through the recreational department at Rutgers and was pleasantly surprised that a Master's degree in Animal Science was offered here.  Upon searching the university's website, I found the research conducted within the Center for the Study of Fetal Programming and my personal research interests coincided.  A smaller university and rural environment seemed like a good change of pace for me.

Current position and future goals:

I have completed my Master's Degree, and I am working in Dr. Ford's lab.  I am currently looking into job possibilities and professional programs.  Eventually, I would like to work in the field of biomedical science.

Advice for potential future students considering UW:

Put in what you want to get out.  Don't be afraid to approach teachers for extra help and advice- they are your best resources.  Also, get involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs, intramural, and outdoor activities, anything to socialize with others, do something fun, and maintain a healthy balance between life and academia.

Desiree Shasa

Desiree Shasa, UW graduate student
"A smaller university and rural environment seemed like a good change of pace for me."
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Phone: (307) 766-6478


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