Anna Galligos grew up listening to her father tell her kid-friendly stories about cells and enzymes, and the more stories she heard, the more questions she had. Though she eventually outgrew the stories her father told her, she never outgrew the science, and she credits her father for encouraging her to take the initiative to find answers on her own.
Galligos received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. During that time, she spent a year in the Pritchard Lab at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) studying the mechanisms of ovarian aging and received authorship credit on a publication. She also spent a year in the Soares Lab at KUMC studying stem cell differentiation, with a publication in process.
Rockhurst is located near Stowers, and Galligos’s interest was ignited by what her professors said about the Institute. She was able to connect with Nikki Nuckolls, a Rockhurst alum who was a Graduate School predoctoral researcher at the time. Nuckolls gave her a tour of the Institute and shared her experience as a predoc, an experience that had a huge impact on Galligos and inspired her to apply to the Graduate School program three years later.
Galligos is excited about the science happening at Stowers and getting to learn new techniques and methodologies. She has yet to find a scientific subject that she can’t get excited about, she says, but hopes that participating in the course modules will help her find her scientific niche. But choosing Stowers was about more than the science.
“I chose Stowers because I was drawn to its tight-knit, collaborative community and the incredible technology,” she says. “And the diversity within Stowers was also a major draw for me. I feel that problems are most effectively solved when you have people with different backgrounds and perspectives working on them together.”
A naturally curious person with a wide range of interests, Galligos loves to read books of every genre and topic. She’s also very outdoor-oriented, loves to hike and kayak, and has set a goal to camp in at least one national or state park per year. She also keeps active by doing yoga and running on local trails.