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Faculty Spotlight: Traci Wilgus

As a researcher and assistant professor at Ohio State, Dr. Traci Wilgus’ path which led her to where she is today has always pointed toward Columbus. “I actually received my B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Ohio State, which is one of the reasons I felt comfortable accepting a faculty position here.” Dr. Wilgus also noted that she enjoys the benefits of being a researcher at a large university like The Ohio State University. “The number of resources for research, opportunities to establish diverse collaborations with investigators in other disciplines, and the ability to work with different types of students makes me love my job.”

While her environment keeps her inspired, the constant learning curve keeps her impassioned. “I feel very fortunate to have a job where I am learning new things every day—by discovering new information through our research, by learning about the work of other scientists and by interacting with students, I am constantly forced to think about things in new ways,” said Wilgus.

Dr. Wilgus has always had an interest in research and chose her focus-area for personal reasons. “I became interested in a career in research when I was in high school mainly because of a great science teacher I had. I chose to focus on skin diseases because my family has a history of skin cancer and I’ve always been interested in understanding mechanisms of disease.”

In her free time Dr. Wilgus enjoys spending time with her family, reading and pretending she’s a do-it-yourself expert. Additionally, as a forever Buckeye, she is a huge sports fan and enjoys playing, watching and occasionally coaching. Her favorite sport is Volleyball.

Her advice to young and aspiring scientists is simple, to learn the art of perseverance. “Inevitably, at some point you will feel like you are being bombarded with negative feedback from people that review your papers and grants, but you must believe in your work,” said Wilgus. “It helps to surround yourself with people that recognize your unique strengths and support what you do.”​