Jessica D. Tolbert is a Chattanooga, TN native who has enjoyed opportunities to explore more of the east coast through her educational pursuits. She attended Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC where she obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry. During her matriculation at Claflin, she had wonderful research opportunities. She became a Leadership Alliance FYRE student in 2016 where completed summer research at Hunter College CUNY. Again, through The Leadership Alliance the following summer, she researched at Brown University. Through those experiences and research at Graz University of Technology in Austria, she was able to hone her research skills and decided to pursue a PhD in Chemistry at Dartmouth College where she is currently a 5 th year PhD student in the Kull Lab where her research focuses on uncovering key criteria for antibiotic alternative compounds hopefully used to inhibit the virulence of enteric pathogens like Enterotoxigenic E. coli –which is a leading cause of diarrheal disease.
While at Dartmouth, she has maintained a connection to The Leadership Alliance by working with Dartmouth ASURE students and attending LANs. Additionally, she became a DEI Graduate Fellow in the IDE Office and a Dartmouth PhD Innovation Fellow. Through the innovation program she took extra course work to prepare her for the innovation space. Because of this program, she obtained an internship at Mission BioCapital, a venture capital firm in Cambridge. There she worked on various diligence projects and expanded her biotech network. She has continued to explore ways her research project, acquired skills, and interest in leadership build into a fulfilling career. In her spare time, she enjoys catching up with friends and family, attending book club meetings, and perfecting her bread recipe.