Meet new faculty member Jill Turner, pharmacy

Name: Jill Turner

Current job: Assistant professor, South Carolina College of Pharmacy

Degrees: B.S., West Virginia University, 2002; Ph.D., Georgetown University School of Medicine, 2007

What's your hometown? I'm from Romney, W.Va., population 1,816. It's a picturesque little town in the Potomac River Valley of the Appalachian Mountains.

What's your area of research? I'm a neuroscientist. Specifically, I'm interested in personalized medicine for mental disorders. This means that we could tailor a person's medical treatment based on their genetic information.

How did you become interested in your work? I've always wanted to be a scientist since I was 6 years old — I loved any book that was science related. When I was 12, I knew I wanted to go into my field specifically due to family illness.

Why did you choose Carolina? Well, it's a very collaborative atmosphere where I have wonderful colleagues. Plus, it's a beautiful place. Who could say no to that?

What are you most looking forward to this year? I'm very excited to be starting my own lab, but also about having the opportunity to excite students about science, particularly other women. STEM — science, technology, engineering and math— fields really have a dearth of talented women, whom I think bring novel perspectives to scientific questions.

What's something that you've done that people might find surprising? As a graduate student at Georgetown University, I used to go twice a year with other neuroscience Ph.D. students to Capitol Hill to knock on senators' doors regarding funding for biomedical research. Somewhere there is a photo of myself with President Barack Obama before he was the president ... back when he was just a senator from Illinois.

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