I am a recent graduate of biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park and am currently working as a postbaccalaureate fellow at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.
For context, I work in a group studying rare inborn errors of metabolism. Our lab is transitionally oriented as we are working on the development of animal models of the disease and gene therapy.
I pursued research in a rare disease group as I am a patient of a rare congenital skin condition. I am currently enrolled in a study which is working to defined the molecular characteristics of my disease (outside of the NIH).
I would like to remain translationally oriented in my graduate pursuits. My proposal in its basic description would be to develop an animal model for my skin condition and pursue gene therapy or gene editing to correct its manifestations. This area of research (gene therapy in dermatopathology) in general is relatively underrepresented in the scientific literature (does this make my proposal stronger?). If anybody would like any more information I can absolutely elaborate.
I will be applying to graduate programs next year. How should I approach investigators (relevant to the described field) with a research proposal such as the one above before and or during applying? I would appreciate hearing your perspectives!