Rachel began her work with infectious diseases during her undergraduate studies at Sonoma State University where she isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa from tertiary treated waste water and investigated the molecular mechanisms by which this pathogenic bacteria evaded the chemical and physical treatment processes it was subjected to. She then went on to work for the California Department of Public at the State Public Health Laboratory in Richmond where she worked in the Select Agents program, helped to establish the campus Emergency Operations Center, trained as a Public Health Microbiologist and managed the Genetic Disease Screening Program database of genetic diseases detected in California babies. Rachel also spent time in Southern India working at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences on a variety of projects including understanding Kodamaea ohmeri in nosocomial infections as well as cases of Wuchereria bancroffti and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Upon returning to the U.S., Rachel went back to school for a Master's degree in Stem Cell Biology and spent 4 years working in the laboratories of Irving Weissman and Kyle Loh characterizing the cell signaling molecules required to make the early progenitor cells of the brain, skin and spinal cord in the developing human embryo. In March of 2020, Rachel returned to the Weissman lab to work on Lyme Disease with Dr. Michal Tal and immediately pivoted research efforts to understanding the immune response in primary COVID19 disease, recovered patients, and vaccine recipients.