University of Arizona
Homeschooled until second grade, Julianna Haug’s first teachers were her mother and father. Within her mother’s curriculum was a requirement that her children explore nature and collect organisms from a nearby creek to view under a microscope. Haug’s father, a researcher in the field of cytometry, would often take her to his office where she would peruse old lab notebooks. Later, her mother’s diagnosis in 2017 of terminal stage-four gastric adenocarcinoma and her subsequent immunotherapy treatment created a profound need in Haug to learn about the underlying pathways of her mother’s disease.
In 2019 Haug worked in the Sánchez Alvarado Lab as a Stowers Summer Scholar where she studied the regenerating planarian flatworm, Schmidtea mediterranea. In 2020, she joined the lab of Curtis Thorne, Ph.D., at the University of Arizona Cancer Center to explore Beta-catenin activity in the Wnt pathway and its role in the maintenance of intestinal stem cells. In 2021, she was a co-author on a Nature Communications publication detailing the postembryonic roles for Hox genes in tissue segmentation and asexual reproduction behavior. After graduating with a degree in health science, Haug began developing an outreach program to bring cutting-edge science into Kansas City classrooms.
Haug aspires to be a principal investigator. She wants to explore the secrets of life by delving into cellular and molecular biology so that one day she can give to someone else the gift that was given to her mother by scientists and doctors willing to think and experiment outside the box, creating advances in science and medicine that saved her life.