I Am Seattle Children's

Krista Geister: I Am a Mentor

Krista Geister, PhD

Scientist, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

When I was a kid, science felt daunting. Today, I hunt for gene mutations that cause life-altering developmental issues like cleft palate and bone-growth disorders.

My journey from intimidation to doctorate started with the two men closest to me: my dad, a dentist and armchair naturalist, and my uncle, a weekend astronomer. Their fascination with the natural world inspired my own curiosity.

Science can described as the pursuit of discovery, but that sounds emotionless and cold. For me, science has always been pure wonder. It’s tough and frustrating, but every day there are gifts – problems solved or discoveries made – and it makes me feel like I’m constantly opening presents.

And as much as I love doing science, I also love sharing it. That’s why I volunteer with Seattle Children’s Science Adventure Lab – a research laboratory that travels to under-resourced schools throughout Washington state.

There’s nothing better than seeing the faces of fourth-graders light up after they’ve completed an experiment like extracting their own DNA. The delight in their voices as they start to make connections is incredibly rewarding: “Wow. That is so cool. That’s my DNA. That’s what makes me who I am!”

I’m so thankful to work with Seattle Children’s to nurture kids’ interest in science. It’s exciting to think that the same sense of wonder that fueled my passion and changed the trajectory of my career could change the course of their lives, too.

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