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2018 Predoctoral Researchers


Aubrey Kent

William Jewell College
Sánchez Alvarado Lab

Aubrey Kent says that if anyone had told her six years ago she would be working on a PhD, she would have laughed.

Home-schooled during high school, Kent wasn’t exposed to much science until she decided to pursue higher education in her 20s. That’s when she discovered her passion for the biological sciences.

Originally, Kent enrolled at a community college with the aim of becoming a radiology technician. A general biology course got her hooked. She says that learning that a little string of nucleotides coded for all the genes in a body blew her mind and she wanted to know more.

During this time, her professors noted that she often asked for deeper explanations than what was covered in class and they encouraged her to pursue a more versatile degree. This led to her bachelor’s degree in biology, which led to her work as a laboratory assistant in the Reptile and Aquatics Facility at Stowers, and a stint in the Stowers Summer Scholars program in 2017.

Kent and her husband have four children (including three teenagers!). Her motivation to get her PhD comes from her own curiosity and her desire to show her children they can accomplish anything if they work hard and refuse to give up.

While in the Graduate School program, Kent hopes to explore stem cells and regeneration, and build her confidence for presenting papers at conferences.