Khouanchy Souvong Oakgrove is a first generation Laotian American, and the first of her family to pursue higher academia in science. She was raised in Wisconsin and obtained her undergraduate degree at Knox College. Currently, she is a NIH Bridges to the Doctorate master’s student in both Dr. Ravinder Sehgal’s Avian Parasitology Lab and Dr. Scott Roy’s Evolution Genomics Lab. Here, she is investigating the transcriptome of Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, in order to identify the underlying genetic factors involved in malaria’s erythrocytic stages of infection. Moreover, she plans to continue into a PhD program that will allow her to pursue a career in global health and investigate infectious diseases. In particular, she is intrigue with understanding pathogen-host interaction and the genetic determinants of microbial pathogenesis. Her interest in pathogen research stems from her interactions with relatives who live in Laos; many villagers die from illness due to lack of accessible healthcare and knowledge about disease. Ultimately, her goals are to reach out to immigrant students and to promote public health awareness in Laotian communities.