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taiana james

Alumni Speaker

What Bacteria and the Viruses that Destroy Them Can Tell Us About Ourselves

Taiana “TT” James ‘22 is a scientist, artist, and community builder. As an undergraduate, Taiana participated in independent bacteriophage research under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Saha and successfully defended an honors thesis in biology in May of 2022. Taiana has presented her research at W&M undergraduate research symposiums, Janelia Research Campus, and the American Society of Cell Biology/European Molecular Biology Organization. Furthermore, she served as the second Black president of Orchesis Modern Dance Company, was a member of Syndicate Hip Hop Dance Team, Rocket Magazine, and PLUMAS, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society Alpha Chapter of Virginia.

Taiana currently works at William & Mary as a laboratory specialist and head TA of Phage Lab. She is also a company member in the Leah Glenn Dance Theatre, a babysitter, and host of the new podcast “no, forreal, ask me anything.” She ultimately intends to earn an M.D./Ph.D, or maybe just a Ph.D.; she is still deciding as she begins to study for the MCAT in her spare time. Taiana will be giving a TEDx talk entitled “What Bacteria and the Viruses that Destroy Them Can Tell Us About Ourselves” where she seeks to explain bacteriophage infection dynamics through a humanistic, sociological, and spiritual lens.