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The Research Her

The Research Her is a weekly science communication podcast for us that provides reliable and relatable topics from how hair products affect health to the effects of Instagram on mental health. It encourages improvement of the disproportionate amount of research focused on minorities. Host Elissia Franklin is a black woman in chemistry who shares the woes and rewards in her field while learning of research in many areas.

Apr 26, 2019

In this episode, we interview and highlight Chrystelle L. Vilfranc. She shares how she went from wanting to go to medical school to find her calling in research. She tells us about her journey to her to a Ph.D. program and gives insight into how she remains mentally healthy while getting her degree.


Chrystelle is a Ph.D. candidate studying cancer and cell biology. She went to Oakwood College and got her bachelor's degree in biochemistry and mathematics. Her specific areas of research include liver injury, hepatocellular carcinoma, and DNA damage and response.


The specific focus of her project involves the use of a mutant mouse model to understand novel roles of DNA damage repair and response pathways in the regulation and protection against acute and chronic liver disease, including hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer. She has a recent publication related to this work.


Chrystelle hopes to provide new knowledge for understanding liver tumor initiation and progression as well as providing new information on how a DNA damage response protein can potentially be a target for potential cancer therapeutics.


Apart from her work in the lab, Chrystelle serves as the digital curator for @VanguardSTEM. Being passionate about mental health and mental well-being she started a writing series in collaboration with #VanguardSTEM, known as #RevealToHeal (found on Medium). She is also a proud #YaleCienciaAcademy2019 fellow.



Find Chrystelle:

Twitter: @GiveHerThePhD24

Instagram: @giveherthephd24


Connect with me:


Instagram: @TheResearchHer

Twitter: @TheResearchHer

Facebook: @TheResearchHer


Show Sources:


Chrystelle's publication


Liver problems - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic


Liver Cancer | CDC