department of human genetics
Clay grew up in the rural northern California town of Healdsburg on a family farm. During his first two years in college he studied jazz improvisation and performance before exploring courses in biology and chemistry. Soon after, Clay decided to transfer to Humboldt State University with a major in cellular and molecular biology where he earned his Bachelor's degree in 2010. As an undergrad, Clay worked in the lab of Dr. Patty Siering studying the genetics and ecology of extremophile bacteria living in the boiling hot springs of Lassen National Park. Clay also spent a summer at San Jose State University in the lab of Dr. Julio Soto where he characterized the therapeutic effects of a protein isolated from rattlesnake venom.
After earning his degree, Clay worked for two years as an industrial
wastewater inspector. In the summer of 2013, he moved to Salt Lake City to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Utah. While not working in the lab, Clay enjoys hiking and backpacking with his camera gear to capture the beauty of the Utah wilderness.
Reavis Fellow in Genetics