Stephanie Peterson is a third-year PhD student in Immunology. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2018 with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and a B.A in German. Stephanie always thought that she would work in the medical field as a doctor or nurse, but that changed after joining a research lab during her undergraduate studies. There, she found that she really enjoyed research and wanted to continue doing it, which led her to pursue graduate school. Stephanie is now part of Dr. Ashutosh Mangalam’s lab, which studies the interplay between diet, the gut microbiome, and the immune system. Specifically, the lab is interested in the effects of diet and the microbiome in the development and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease targeting the central nervous system. Her current research focuses on the effects of a fructose rich diet on the microbiome and immune system, as well as how those changes influence MS disease severity. Outside of lab, Stephanie enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, baking, and playing with her dog Orion.