Kathryn Spencer

Position: Scientific associate in the Cheresh lab.

Duties: Maintaining the imaging facilities for the lab, helping lab members with microscopy and image analysis, conducting research.

Background: B.S. from Iowa State University; Ph.D. from Northwestern University Medical School.

Best part of her job: “I really enjoy helping people with their projects. It's also nice to have the opportunity to pursue my own research interests in vascular permeability, which has relevance for understanding angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels) and neural cell damage due to stroke.”

Passion outside work: Playing handbells as a member of the Crusader Handbell Choir from Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church. In the choir, each of 12 musicians plays at least two bells, which range from treble (two or three ounces) to bass (12 to14 pounds). "We play an expanded version of piano music—24 bells sounds fuller than the piano notes you can reach with 10 fingers." Spencer has been playing handbells for 10 years, and attends practices at least once a week.

Gigs: Spencer has performed at San Diego Symphony concerts, Pacific Beach tree lightings, Christmas on the Prado, weddings, funerals, and church services. The Crusader choir recently cut a CD. On Easter Sunday (April 15), she is scheduled to make an appearance with the Crusader Handbell Choir on KNSD, channel 7/39, during the 7 to 8 AM weekend news program.

Handbell mantra: "Handbells are not just for Christmas."

Other interests: Sailboat racing.

Comments: "In science, in sailing, and in music, you can do so much more as a team than on your own."


Scientific Associate Kathy Spencer (front row, left) and her handbell group, the Crusader Handbell Choir, are scheduled to perform on KNSD, channel 7/39, on Easter Sunday between 7 and 8 AM.