Hannah is a fourth-year biochemistry graduate student in Dr. Kris DeMali’s lab. She completed her BS in biochemistry at the University of Iowa and was the pioneering student of the U2G Program. This program enabled her to combine her senior year of undergraduate study with her first year of graduate studies, giving her a head-start on research training. Her research focuses on how cells sense their environment and respond to changes. Specifically, she focuses on how cells resist applied forces, like breathing or lactation, through a process known as cell stiffening. By studying this, she hopes to help scientists understand the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) that occurs in cancer. The Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA) is one program that played a big role in setting her academic and research goals. IBA enabled her to begin research as an undergraduate freshman, which let her discover my passion for research at an early stage in her academic career. When Hannah is not in lab, she enjoys cooking and baking and obsessively reading her Book of the Month subscription book!