Kate Grive

Class of 2001


What is your name and where do you currently live?
Kate Grive, currently living in Providence, RI. I graduated from SMS in 2001.

What is your current profession?
Currently, I am finishing my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry at Brown University. I study female infertility and genetic determinants of ovarian health.

What was your educational path after graduating from St. Mary School?
I attended St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, CT and graduated third in my class. Following my graduation, I attended UConn from 2005-2009. I was awarded the Achievement Scholarship for all four years there, and I double-majored in Molecular & Cell Biology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. While there, I worked for three years in the laboratory of Dr. David Knecht and wrote my Honors Thesis on this work.I graduated Cum Laude, with Honors, and with the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. A month after my graduation, I began a position as a Research Assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Barbara Mellone, a new faculty member at UConn. After this year, I decided to return to school and began working towards my Ph.D. at Brown University in 2010. Currently, I am in my fifth year (and likely final) year. While at Brown, I was a recipient of the Sidney Frank Fellowship (2010-12) followed by my current Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (2013-16).

How do you feel SMS prepared you academically & do you feel SMS provided you with a foundation for your future?
While my memory from my early years at SMS are a bit foggy, I have very fond memories of being in Mrs. Nelson’s science classroom multiple years in a row and performing real “experiments”. I remember my fascination with her previous work as a scientist before she began teaching and deciding that I wanted to be in that position in the future. She was truly an invaluable influence when I was young, and to this day when I discuss my path up until this point, I talk about how Mrs. Nelson taught me how to love science.

What are some of your favorite memories of SMS?
I met lifelong friends at SMS. WhenI was in first grade, I met a girl who would continue to be my best friend until this day. Last year, I was a maid of honor in her wedding and we still reminisce about being in elementary school together. Also, despite the time that has passed, I will never forget the comfort of Mrs. Birge’s second grade classroom, the visits to Mrs. E’s classroom after school had ended for the day, and Mrs. Nelson’s unyielding dedication to creating budding scientists out of her students.

What are your plans for the future?
Currently, I am looking for post-doctoral research positions and I’m especially interested in women’s health, maternal-fetal health, and a better understanding of infertility. Following this, however, I’m either planning on staying in a biomedical research setting, or pursuing editorial positions at a scientific journal.

What advice can you give to our students?
I would advise students to explore broadly – not just in school, but in their lives: spend some time volunteering; read about current events; try something new.When you graduate and enter high school and college, follow your interests, but also challenge yourself with topics that are brand new to you. You never know where you will truly find your passions, or who you’ll meet along the way. While my mind is engaged in biology and research, my heart drives me to reach beyond the lab. I was a Co-Founder and current Coordinator for Brown’s Graduate Women in Science and Engineering organization, and I also work at our University Writing Center. I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and through much of my education, I also devoted time to playing the flute in orchestras and ensembles. These experiences have introduced me to wonderful people who I would not have otherwise met, but also taught me about myself. I learned that I find happiness in discovering the unknown and in giving back to a community that supported me in my path. I would encourage students to learn about themselves in the same way and to be true to what they discover.