FOXBORO (CBS) — Patriots cheerleader Theresa Oei is doing her job on and off the field.
The rookie team member spends her days studying gene editing at The Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. On nights and weekends Oei swaps out the lab coat for workout gear to practice getting fans fired up as a cheerleader for the New England Patriots.
“Whenever they all walk on the field it’s so exciting and the crowd loves it,” said Oei.
Being on the field is her fun, but being in the lab is her life.
“A lot of science is asking the question why, why does it work like this and then of course solving problems,” said Oei.
The Yale graduate’s team at the institute researches gene editing to better understand genetic diseases like cancer, with the hopes of someday being able to manipulate DNA as a type of treatment.
Oei says it’s a privilege to share her love of science with young people she meets at school events on behalf of the Patriots.
“Leaving the path to science open is really important and showing that it can be a lot of fun,” said Oei.
She is currently in the process of getting into graduate school to earn her PhD.