Tell us about your education?
I am a first-generation college student, who graduated from UCLA with a Degree in Biology. As a pre-med student I volunteered at local clinics and worked in Dr. Charalabos Pothoulakis laboratory at UCLA, having a focus on digestive diseases and specifically Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. I recently completed a postbaccalaureate program at UC Davis and currently, I am planning to apply to medical school.
How and why have you decided to be a scientist?
To be honest I did not know much about research at the beginning. I was given an opportunity to volunteer at a lab in UCLA during my undergrad and from there my appreciation for research grew. I found joy in seeking out knowledge that was not previously known and how that piece of information helped connect other ideas together. With my goal in mind of treating patients in the future as a physician, I felt that research was another way I can reach a wider spread of patients. I saw the vital impact research has on medicine, which has made me continue my path as a scientist.
Who is your greatest inspiration, professionally and personally?
Naming one professional inspiration is difficult to do because I’ve had many mentors along my education that I admire a lot and inspire to be like one day. Dr. Jill Hoffman, Dr. Jorge Garcia, and Dr. Olivia Campa are some to name a few. Dr. Hoffman was my first mentor in the field of research, and I owe to her my knowledge and passion for biomedical research. Similarly, to Dr. Garcia and Dr. Campa, I plan to help diversify the field of medicine by mentoring young underrepresented students in achieving their goal of becoming a physician. As for my personal inspiration, that has to be both of my parents. They are hardworking people who have preserved and prevailed despite the obstacles they have faced. I draw much of my work ethic and determination from them.
What do you enjoy most in your daily work in Athos Therapeutics Inc?
What I enjoy most in my daily work in Athos Therapeutics is the highly collaborative spirit. And discussion with my colleagues. From brainstorming experimental approaches, novel concepts to the sharing of results, I find it all rewarding. I truly believe we have a great team that communicates well, builds upon each other’s experience and knowledge and working with them makes it all enjoyable.
What advice are you giving to the young people who want to become biomedical scientists?
Don’t give up! I know science is tough and tiring, but I can tell them now that it is also exciting and rewarding. Keep striving to become a biomedical scientist and if you find yourself struggling along the way don’t be afraid to seek out help. Look for resources and mentors to guide you in your path because the field of biomedical research is waiting for you!