Terrell earned her Ph.D in Bioengineering from the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD. She studied molecular bioengineering under Professor Amy Sung. Using a gene knockout mouse model, Terrell investigated how a single gene contributes to the organization and nanomechanics of cell membranes. Such studies will lead to better understanding and treatments of blood and heart diseases. Terrell is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and obtained her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University in 2004, graduating magna cum laude with departmental honors.
Currently, Terrell is a Teach For America 2010 Corps member and is teaching Biology and Genetics at an Atlanta public high school.