Jewish Girl – Amanda

The work you do for your PhD program sounds pretty awesome. Tell us about it.
I am getting my degree in molecular biology. My lab studies the embryonic development of fruit flies. I’m researching the function and evolution of the gene fushi tarazu, which controls the formation of the early embryo by regulating other genes. In the end, I’m going to make mosquitoes that grow legs out of their heads instead of antennae (no really).

We hear your house would be an amazing place for a scavenger hunt. What are some of the treasures we would find there?
I moved into my grandparents’ house last fall. My grandparents lived there for 50 years, and they tended to keep everything. Some of my favorite things I have found so far include: Esquire and Better Homes and Gardens from the 60’s, lots of fantastic 60’s and 70’s furniture, an epipen in the fridge from 1959, my grandma’s biochemistry textbooks from the 70’s, my grandmother’s enormous collection of shoes, bags, and hats spanning 50 years, my aunt’s original copy of Our bodies, Ourselves, my grandpa’s navy hat from WWII, and a couple of very old Life magazines – the best one from 1973, devoted to the 25th Anniversary of Israel.

You spent Thanksgiving with an Israeli friend from Reverse Mifgash. What was that experience like?
The best Thanksgiving ever! My family and I loved having Omri at dinner, seeing it through his eyes made it extra fun. And to give him the true American experience, we went Black Friday shopping at 4 am. He loved every second of it. Omri I miss you!

What Jewish superstar is your role model and why?
Jeremy Rosen because he is so fun and he has a gigantic heart and he makes everyone feel included in everything.

What is your preferred DC Shabbat location and why?
6th and I. Since I really just started exploring my Judaism this year, I like how they have programs for beginners. And I love that they have all sorts of cultural events to bring everyone in, no matter what they are interested in. Plus it is non-denominational – it is really such an accepting place that brings everyone in the community together, no matter what their background is.

4 replies
  1. Uri
    Uri says:

    Whose lab do you work in? Either way, if you just could engineer mosquitoes that don’t bite humans, but still have the capacity to take over the entire Earth’s mosquito population, that’d be fantastic 😉

    • Amanda
      Amanda says:

      We are working on releasing mosquitoes that don’t spread disease, but unfortunately they still bite people. You can’t have everything.

      Congrats on being Jewish Guy of the Year!

      • Uri
        Uri says:

        Thanks! I have faith that you could make a mosquito that either a) didn’t like the taste of human flesh and blood, or b) didn’t produce saliva that was so irritable to human skin. But even more so, I’m sure your work will help people way beyond relieving an itch, so keep up the good stuff 🙂


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