Shirley joined the Murphy Lab as a volunteer turned tech in the summer of 2011. As the “new Brenden,” she split her time between painstakingly washing glassware and curing neurodegenerative diseases.
She initially started her impressive career in science by doing bacterial cloning until she became the neuronal arm of the Murphy lab in order to complete her post doc’s life work for her (see tags: Amy Leung, PhD). Shirley spent her days shuttling heavy boxes from one corner of the lab to the next while simultaneously directly differentiating patient-specific hiPSCs into motor neuron-lineage cells in order to disease model ATTR and ALS.
Within the lab, when people speak of Shirley they often use the phrases “sweet-heart,” “warm and welcoming,” and “work-appropriate.” Another word they commonly use within the same sentence is “not.”
UPDATE: Shirley is now a student at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio and is scheduled to graduate in 2018.