Sharla Friend

After working in retail and marketing for many years I found myself deeply unfulfilled. In my spare time I was attending public science seminars and it was at one of these that I realized that I should be pursuing a career in the sciences. I quickly became fascinated with the field of biotechnology and its potential for understanding our world and beyond! So, I went back to school, jumped around in lab tech positions and chased my dream. I have now been part of some amazing research projects such as sailing the open ocean with Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute while examining deep-sea microbes and working with NASA’s NCAS program to design a mock Mars rover to find the presence of Martian microbes. I now look forward to being part of NewLeaf’s exciting projects exploring the beneficial relationship that microbes provide to plants and how this can further be used to improve our human condition. When I am not in the lab you can most often find me outdoors with my fiancé Greg and our friends either sailing the Mississippi, racing a small dingy on Creve Coeur lake or hiking our beautiful planet.