WHERE THEY’RE HEADED: Jordyn Greenbaum ’20

The biology major and neuroscience minor is now working at the National Institutes of Health as a postbac IRTA fellow, studying cardiovascular development and abnormalities.

Hailing from Highland Park, Illinois, Jordyn Greenbaum ‘20 now makes her home in the nation’s capital working for the National Institutes of Health, specifically in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). As a postbac IRTA fellow in the NIH’s Weinstein lab, she is studying cardiovascular development and abnormalities. 

“We use zebrafish and cell culture models to better understand vascular development and abnormalities,” said Greenbaum. “My two projects have been looking at how calcium signaling impacts endothelial cell behavior, and separately, I’m working to further characterize how mutations in a gene that encodes for a histone lysine demethylase impacts neurodevelopment.” 

At Haverford, the biology major and neuroscience minor conducted neurobiology research in Assistant Professor of Biology Roshan Jain’s lab, where she also studied zebrafish.

“My thesis further explored the gene ap2s1, and where, when, and how broadly it is involved in habituation behavior,” she said. “Working with zebrafish has directly prepared me for this opportunity, as in the Weinstein lab, [since] we also use zebrafish as our model organism.”

Greenbaum grateful for Jain, her thesis advisor and mentor.

“His constant support and never-ending enthusiasm for our work helped me to grow and become even more passionate about science and pursuing it further post-graduation,” she said. “I could not have asked for a better mentor. I have grown tremendously and am so grateful to take all that I’ve learned (about being a better scientist, and a better person) with me to the NIH and beyond.”

She also credits her work with Jamie Becker, her marine biology professor who employed her as a TA for “Superlab,” with preparing her for her current job.

“Much like with Roshan, my interactions with Jamie made me feel incredibly comfortable, and like an integral part of the biology department, and made my experiences fun and memorable,” she said.

At Haverford, Greenbaum learned about more than just biology. Taking numerous classes in the Department of Religion and others outside her major course of study, she said, made her passionate about learning. 

“My courses at Haverford taught me so much more than I can put into words,” she said. “They taught me the value of collaboration and trust, and the role creativity plays in science, too. They mostly taught me that science is incredibly fun, and the people you work with in lab will become some of your best friends.”

This year, Greenbaum is applying to medical school, and she knows that her postbac at NIH has been great preparation for her next step. 

“I believe that working in a lab studying cardiovascular and neurovascular abnormalities will help develop my understanding of different biological systems,” she said. “I am already very familiar with neurobiology and neuroscience, so redirecting my research towards vascular development and its medically translational implications is a new and exciting adventure.”