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Jessica Ayers Joins Simpson Lab Research Team

Originally published to the UW Division of Dermatology website on June 21, 2023.

UW Dermatology is pleased to welcome Jessica Ayers, a graduate student researcher in the Molecular Medicine and Mechanisms of Disease (M3D) PhD Program, to the laboratory of Cory Simpson, MD, PhD! Dr. Simpson will provide guidance as Jessica’s Research Mentor as she pursues her thesis research focused on human biology and disease.

The M3D PhD Program is a rigorous interdisciplinary training program designed to prepare students for translational research. The program is a collaborative effort among the UW School of Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, Division of Dermatology, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Fred Hutch Cancer Center.

Dr. Simpson is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Dermatology and Principal Investigator of the Simpson Lab. The Simpson Lab is one of three research labs in the Division of Dermatology and part of the Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington, a cohort of collaborative research labs located at UW Medicine’s research complex in Seattle’s South Lake Union (SLU) medical/tech hub.

Welcome to UW Dermatology Jessica! 


Jessica Ayers
PhD Student, M3D PhD Program

With roots in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Jessica graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology. During her undergrad, she studied plant biology as an undergraduate researcher scientist in the laboratory of Donald Ort, PhD.

After graduation, Jessica moved to Seattle to become a Research Technician at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in the laboratory of William Grady, MD. As a Research Tech in the Grady Lab, Jessica utilized intestinal organoids as a model system to study colorectal cancer.

Jessica first met Dr. Simpson in 2022 as she rotated in the Simpson Lab as part of the M3D PhD Program, and recently reconnected at the 2023 ISID in Tokyo where Jessica presented her research alongside several researchers representing UW Dermatology.

In her free time, Jessica enjoys exploring the mountains of the west coast (a big change from growing up in the prairie land!), backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and playing recreational soccer in Seattle. Outside of the lab she is most likely found alongside her dog, Xylo!

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