My post-doctoral research facilitated my growth as an academic researcher and investigator. I spent my first year learning modeling, simulation, and manufacturing techniques to fabricate microfluidic devices in Dr. Todd Monroe’s lab. I developed new fabrication techniques, using different bio-friendly materials, to visualize zebrafish sperm physiology and behavior. I was a contributor and mentor on multiple locally funded grants and awards. We received 4 LSU Discover Undergraduate Awards that provided students a learning opportunity through participation in faculty-mentored projects that culminated in poster and oral presentations, by the students. We were also awarded 2 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program awards through the Louisiana Sea Grant that funded students for an entire year and resulted in a submitted and published report of their findings. Finally, we were awarded an ACRES grant to continue our research on endangered species. During my second post-doctoral year, I took the skills gained from my gradate work on matrix fabrication and first post-doctoral year on device development and joined Dr. Elizabeth Martin’s cancer biology lab. It was a perfect fit since the focus of her lab was the development of physiologically relevant tumor models. I used my expertise in microfluidic fabrication and matrix composition/formulation to help build and construct complex tumor models that integrate cancer cells in complex systems of co-culture and matrix adhesion. My research was focused on the fabrication of ECM-specific hydrogels, I also began investigating alternative methods to formulate composites (e.g. addition of decellularized tissues) and other factors that constitute the TME (e.g. immune cells and CAFs). I have had the opportunity to guest lecture for undergraduate and graduate courses in our department, enhancing my teaching skills, while also establishing new interdisciplinary and institution collaborations. Currently, I have collaborated with different departments at LSU resulting in published works, the mechanical engineering department at Southern University (local HBCU), local companies, and projects that initiated my collaboration with the Burow lab and eventually joining as a faculty member.