Adalena Nanni

Adalena Nanni is a first-year graduate student in the UF Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program focused on computational biology. A Pennsylvania native, Nanni received her Bachelor’s degree in Bioinformatics from the University of Pittsburgh. Though she is new to Florida and the G&G program, Nanni is adjusting well and feels confident that choosing UFGI was the right choice.

“What made me gravitate toward this program was the interdisciplinary nature of it,” Nanni said. “I’m also computational biology, and a lot of other programs I was looking at are very focused on the software development side of bioinformatics and I wanted something that had more broad subjects that I could dip my feet into a bit.”

After visiting and interviewing with UFGI, Nanni was convinced that this program was for her.

“Florida was so welcoming and it just made me super excited about the school,” Nanni said. “The flexibility of the Florida program just surpassed all of my expectations . It was exactly what I was looking for.”

Nanni is in her third rotation this semester and said that getting to explore a diverse range of subjects through the many labs UFGI students can choose from has made the program enjoyable.

“Every lab is different, so you can try out different types of labs and see what fits you best,” Nanni said. “I tried to choose some very different ones, so I could get a broad range of experiences.”

In both undergrad and in her current program, Nanni has enjoyed her computational work most. She hopes to be able to use those skills to go into industry upon finishing her program.

“I see myself going into industry in a big company like Bayer or an agricultural company,” Nanni said. “I didn’t work with agriculture at all until I got to this program and then realized how interesting it can actually be.”

Nanni expects to finish the graduate program in five years and wants her work to have a lasting impact.

“I want to help push the field forward, so that more things can be done in every field, so that we can improve crops, improve health and improve the everyday life of people in some way,” Nanni said. “By using computational methods I want to help move the whole field forward.”

Though the genetics program keeps Nanni on a tight schedule, she tries to make the most of her weekends and free time.

“Recently I’ve been going down to Silver Springs, which is my absolute favorite place in Florida,” Nanni said. “I’ve done the glass bottom boat tour and went down there twice just to go hiking. They have these really long trails that are nice. On weekends I tend to try to do something outside or something fun, like going to a movie with friends.”

Nanni has formed a close bond with her peers in the genetics program, who she spends time with both in and outside of the lab.

“All the first years get along incredibly well,” Nanni said. “We see each other every day in class and try to do things together outside of school. Almost all of us went to a movie together once. We also went to the stargazing night at the museum, which was really cool.”

Another hobby that Nanni recently picked up is rock climbing. She along with two other genetics students recently joined the UF Rock Climbing Club.

“We have been going rock climbing together every Tuesday night for the past several weeks,” Nanni said. “It's been so much fun and a great way to unwind midweek.”

Nanni said that the students in her program not only spend time together, but use their many differences to help each other excel in their program.

“The group we have is so diverse in our academic backgrounds, so everyone can help someone in some way,” Nanni said. “No one is afraid to ask for help.”

Though there are many aspects of the G&G program that Nanni appreciates, she stated that its diversity is what sets it apart.

“The diversity of the program is what I’ve appreciated most, in both classwork and in the people within the program, including faculty and students,” Nanni said. “It’s also really cool to see all the different kinds of research going on.”

Nanni is looking forward to joining Dr. Lauren McIntyre’s lab and continuing forward in her program.

Created By
Micayla Kinder

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