Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars make significant contributions to the dynamic research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies aims to help graduate students and postdocs maximize this pivotal state in their professional development. This office is dedicated to enhancing their experience.

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Trainee Spotlight

Ashley Best sitting at a lab bench

Ashley Richards Best

Department of Microbiology & Immunology


I grew up in Powell, Ohio and attended Miami University for undergraduate where I received B.S. in Microbiology and a B.A. in Spanish. While at Miami I was able to participate in a study abroad program, which ignited my love of traveling. I was also fortunate enough to participate in undergraduate research where I studied a pathogen known for causing infections in wounded soldiers, Acinetobacter baumannii. This work made me realize that I enjoyed research, more than I enjoyed the idea of becoming a doctor. It was through my experiences in that lab that I chose to attend graduate school – an option I did not really know existed until my research experience. Now I am working with a pathogen that causes an atypical pneumonia, Legionella pneumophila, in the lab of Dr. Yousef Abu Kwaik.


Science has always been one of my biggest interests – I like to think I still have the curiosity of child and some days I ask as many questions as a child. However, I also enjoy hiking -being outdoors in a foreign country if possible- and playing video games.


One of my major goals is to see more scientists engaging with the public. I feel that we as scientists have a civic duty to inform the public about our research and the importance of all types of research. This is a major step in producing a more favorable climate for increased research funding. I am trying to accomplish this goal through a graduate student organization I founded – SPOG (Science Policy and Outreach Group). As a group, we also work on getting primary school students more interested and engaged in science. Personal life goals include: graduating, making it to every continent, and finding a career where I can talk about science all day!