STEM Squad Profile: Katherine Hatcher

Hi there, I’m Katherine! I am currently a Neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I study how environmental factors influence the brain and behavior.

I did not always know I wanted to be a scientist, let alone a neuroscientist. When I first started my undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee, I was majoring in Rhetorical Writing with plans to go to law school. After taking an intro to biology class my first semester, I remember being fascinated by anatomy and physiology, that I started taking more science classes. I eventually switched my major to Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, but I continued to take as many neuroscience and physiology classes as I could. After graduating, I taught high school science in Chicago for two years prior to going back to school for my MS in Neurobiology from Northwestern. After my MS, I started in the Neuroscience Program at Illinois, where I instantly got involved in endocrinology and toxicology research, falling in love with how the brain interacts with the body to control hormone-related physiology such as metabolism and reproduction.

Outside of the lab, I am extremely passionate about discovering my identity. Since starting my blog Grad Self-Care back in October 2018, I have slowly found who I am through self-discovery and self-care, as well as connecting with other individuals on social media. I have rediscovered my love of SciComm, which began during my undergraduate career when I worked as a science journalist and editor for the school newspaper. I have also learned of my passion for storytelling, which I will combine with my SciComm passions to start a podcast in the fall of 2019. I am also a beer lover and cat mom, as well as amateur boxer!

Find Katherine on
Instagram, her website, and on Twitter! Katherine took over The STEM Squad’s Instagram in November 2018.

Collaborations & Opportunities

I am always actively looking for individuals to be featured on my blog or Instagram. I am also seeking individuals who conduct research on hormones (in any capacity) to be featured on my podcast!