Christalyn Sims Rhodes

Graduation Year: 
2004

Christalyn Sims Rhodes, Boston, Mass. :: is studying biological sciences for her Ph.D. at Harvard University, where she was named a 2017 Harvard Horizons Scholar for her research in understanding the development of asthma. She previously worked as an electronic microscopist at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, where she studied a disorder that caused children to have chronic respiratory tract  infections due to a poorly functioning layer of cells lining their lungs. That inspired her to attend graduate school, where she and her Harvard research teams have found that those with asthma have epithelial cells that line the lungs in an “unjammed” fashion, while those without asthma have cells that are lined like tiles. They also found the unjammed cells in people with the common cold — the first data to show that a virus can cause cell movement and a finding that also may have implications in the study of cancer. At UNT, Christalyn studied under Lee Hughes, associate professor of biological sciences.