Mattea Keister grew up in Arvada, Colorado, where she attended Ralston Valley High School. She is majoring in biochemistry. She joined Dr. Lisa Timmons lab in August 2016 where she started working on an unusual form of gene silencing that was observed in transgenic strains of Caenorhabditis elegans. The findings are reminiscent of genetic imprinting mechanisms in humans and may illuminate unintended consequences of genetic manipulation. The goal is to use biochemical and genetic approaches to uncover the underlying mechanism for this form of silencing. Mattea plans to continue her education in an MD/PhD program with the goal of pursuing biomedical research.