#IAmScience K'Imani Davis

By Erica Overfelt | Bond LSC

From hate to passion.

One class changed senior K’Imani Davis’s mind, who is now going into her senior year working in the Anand Chandrasekhar lab at Bond LSC.

“I used to actually hate science, and when I say hate, I hated it,” Davis said. “Senior year of high school I took AP Bio, I loved it. I don’t know what happened, but I started to try and I liked the subject.”

After Davis’s change of heart, she decided to start out at MU as a biology major, and she is now going the pre-med route.

Just like Davis ended up in science, she ended up at MU by chance.

“I wasn’t going to come here at first,” Davis said. “I never visited and never knew someone here. I was so indecisive about my college decisions so I put all my options in a hat and just drew, I drew Mizzou so I just came here.”

Davis came to MU knowing nothing about the campus, programs or any students. And then she stumbled across an opportunity that changed her college experience for her.

“I actually got involved by accident,” Davis said. “I had a class in this building and across from my class was the undergraduate research office. I decided I wanted to do research because it was science out of the classroom.”

From freshman year to now, Davis has found a home away from home in her lab.

“I think of my lab as a family,” Davis said. “We always have something to do all together every semester. It’s very family oriented, it’s very close and tight knit. My boss sometimes even acts like my father.”

Davis didn’t just find a family at Bond LSC, she found her passion. The lab is studying neuronal migration in zebra fish. This study looks at how neurons move into place as the brain and nervous system develops with the hope of learning how the process works and using that information to understand neuro-degenerative disease. In her freshman year when Davis was an intern in the lab, she fed the fish and cleaned the tanks. Now, she analyzes fish behaviors and compares swim patterns between wild and mutated zebra fish.

“By analyzing their behavior, we are able to see if there are neuronal migration patterns, and we see what defects leads to different behaviors,” Davis said.

Davis’s goal for this upcoming year is to have a poster of her research to display to others. Her experience at MU has brought her a family, a passion and no longer a hatred for science.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Davis said.