Alexa Villavicencio Queijeiro
Associate Profesor, Forensic Genetics BSc. School of Medicine. National Autonomous University of Mexico
Do no let the roles society can impose on women hold you down.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a teacher and a researcher. I teach 3 courses: organic chemistry, biochemistry-cellular biology and forensic serology and hematology. As a researcher I am interested on the use of omic technologies for forensic applications. One of my main goals is to develop protocolos for identifying human remains in order to assist on the current missing persons crisis in Mexico. I believe in multi and interdisciplinary work and in building a better country everyday
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I attended a conference on forensic science when I was on my first year of college. Forensic Science was something that always interested me as a bystander. I would binge on series such as CSI, Bones and Criminal minds and I have always liked reading a good mystery book. I studied to become a Scientist and as I was finishing my PhD in BiomedicaI Sciences, the University where I was studying launched a new BSc in Forensic Science. Actually it is the first of its kind in Mexico. Originally I considered studying it as another career but I ended up teaching Biochemistry and two years later was offered a position as a researcher. I believe Forensic science had been on the back of my mind as a hobby but when I started as a teacher I realized how little I knew about the justice system in my country and how rotted it was. There is a saying "Be the change you want to be in the world" so I think being a teacher is a great way of contributing to that change as I believe every student has the potential of being the seed of change. Also I have always think one should lead by example so I thrive to be the best teacher I can be and to nourish a little bit the seed in my students. Also I look for my research to help with some of the main issues in the forensic genetics field and specifically on the missing persons crisis and their identification.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I think I am a very lucky person because I have had many opportunities in life. I was able to get a college degree and a PhD. I have been able to travel the world and meet great people and I work at a place where a better country is being built. I guess I would tell younger me that it is possible to thrive as a scientist and to build a better country as a professor.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I I have always think one should lead by example and being a teacher allows me to nourish the young generations´s mind and compromise towards building a better country and planet. When I wake up I look fwd giving class and seeing my students and my colleagues.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Do no let the roles society can impose on women hold you down. Whatever path you choose in life, do it wholeheartedly and because you want to and not because that is what your family or society expect from you. At the end of our lives we will be the ones paying the price of our choices and as the Dr Seuss says "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind".
INSPO / FUN FACT
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.