Taylor Smith, originally from Baltimore, MD, received her BS from Tuskegee University in Animal Science in 2016. Following graduation, she moved to Lafayette, IN as a post- baccalaureate researcher in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology as part of Purdue University’s PREP. There, she was a member of Dr. Yava Jones-Hall’s lab studying the gut microbiome and inflammatory markers associated with IBD. It was this research experience that she discovered her interest in the microbiome. In 2018, she enrolled in Emory University’s Genetics and Molecular Biology program where she has since received her Masters. During her stint at Emory, she was able to continue to explore her interest in the microbiome now focusing on the female reproductive system. Her thesis focused on characterizing a novel protein expressed by the uterus during pregnancy in Dr. Andrew Neish’s lab. Additionally, she worked on a collaborative project to develop a mouse model for Bacterial Vaginosis, a common vaginal infection affecting women of reproductive age. Currently, she is a clinical laboratory technologist on the COVID-19 response team at the Georgia Department of Public Health.