Degree: Ph.D. in Biochemistry
College/School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity; College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Jill Beaver grew up in North Carolina where she taught high school science for five years. With a background in biology and teaching, Jill wanted to pursue an advanced degree that would expose her to a broader spectrum in science education. She set her sights on FIU’s biochemistry Ph.D. program and moved to Miami in fall 2012. She joined Professor Yuan Liu’s lab in July 2013.
Under Liu’s guidance, Jill has made outstanding contributions to the field of biochemistry. Through groundbreaking research in DNA damage and repair, Jill has identified cellular mechanisms of preventing DNA repeat expansion — the cause of 40 neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease, for which there is no cure, yet. Her research has opened international doors with publications in high-profile journals and presentations at international research conferences. She received a presentation award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science — the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society.
After graduation, Jill has secured a job with the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. She will be working in their Science Assessment Division, where she can continue her involvement in science education. In the future, Jill hopes to impact science policy to encourage underrepresented students to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences.