Kara Stark is a Ph.D. candidate in the Genetics and Genomics Program. She is from St. Louis, Missouri and earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Butler University in 2020. At Duke, her research examines mobile DNA elements called endogenous retroviruses. Prior research has categorized endogenous retroviruses as ‘parasitic DNA’ which can be damaging to human health. However, Kara is exploring how activity of endogenous retroviruses during development may be beneficial. Kara is also passionate about science outreach and hopes to share her love of research with young scientists.