Dec 18, 2018
Dr. Kat Milligan-Myhre was raised in a remote Alaska Native community above the Arctic Circle, and was the first person from her village to obtain a PhD. in biological sciences. She is now a faculty member at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Her research focuses on determining the extent that host genes control host-microbe interactions, utilizing the stickleback fish. Dr. Milligan-Myhre talks about the difficulty of maintaining her Native Alaskan cultural identity during her time in the “lower 48” studying microbiology, why stickleback fish are a great model for understanding how the host shapes the microbiota, how “code switching” allows her to communicate effectively with both her cultural and scientific communities, how Native Alaskans are at the forefront of experiencing climate change, and the coldest stretch of weather she has ever experienced.
This podcast was recorded during the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS) annual meeting in San Antonio TX.
The microCase for listeners to solve is about Cindy Lou Who, a veterinary student who comes down with a mysterious illness while on a summer fellowship in Peru.