profile picture

Margaret M

- Research Program Mentor

MD/PhD candidate at Duke University


genetics, biology, bioinformatics, medicine


I am passionate about understanding how our environment, specifically the food we eat and the microbes in our gut, impact our physiology and health. To delve into this further, I'm studying how specialized cells in our gut mediate these interactions by releasing a variety of hormones that impact everything from our hunger to the movement of our gut. I leverage computational analysis of sequencing data to generate hypotheses and then test them in vivo by creating transgenic zebrafish reporters that I can perform live imaging in. I hope to build on this research expertise later in my career to explore the connections between the gut and the brain and the impact of nutrients and microbes on mental health. In my free time I enjoy playing, coaching, and watching soccer! I'm a big fan of our local NWSL team the Carolina Courage and still like to kick the ball around myself after having played all growing up and in college. I also enjoy reading romance novels and trying out new recipes.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Open Questions about the New Drug Ozempic

Drugs like Ozempic are great examples of how basic science research can impact patient care! This drug, used to treat diabetes and obesity, has quickly become widely poplar among patients and news outlets alike. However, there is still a lot we don't know about precisely how Ozempic is working and what the long-term outcomes of chronic use might be. Imagine you're a doctor with a patient who has questions about the drug. How would you go about gathering information to answer their question? We can use this project as a chance to explore what it might be like to delve into recent research, summarize published outcomes, and list open questions. Together, we would explore how to best search for relevant articles (using resources like PubMed and UpToDate), how to digest both medical and basic research papers, and how to write a scientific report detailing your findings. By honing these skills to answer the above research question (or another one you find interesting!) you'll get exposure to what many doctors and scientists do every day as they work to understand new developments in the field.

Coding skills

R, some Java, some Python

Teaching experience

As an undergraduate at Rutgers University, I led a class for first-year students. More recently, I've served as a peer mentor for entering graduate students at Duke.



Rutgers University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2016)
Genetics and Computer Science
Duke University
MD/PhD Doctor of Medicine and of Philosophy candidate
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Interested in working with expert mentors like Margaret?

Apply now