Ms. Tsantilas is a PhD Candidate in Biochemistry performing her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. James B. Hurley. Her main focus is on how aging impacts the function and metabolic capacity of the ocular ecosystem. In particular, this work examines neighboring tissues – the retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) – that are heavily dependent upon each other to function properly in young, healthy eyes and are subject to dramatic physical and functional changes in aging. She has also examined whether drug interventions can impact aging ocular metabolism in these tissues. That work was supported by the Genetic Approaches to Aging Training Grant (NIH/NIAT32 AG000057) from 2017-2020. Outside of this main project, she has delved into mitochondrial DNA mutations in aging retina and RPE, as well as circadian rhythm and the broader metabolic ecosystem in young eyes. When not in the lab, Ms. Tsantilas loves going to Seattle’s farmers markets, cooking all of the things, and traveling.