What do you do?
I research the superficial and metabolic interaction between a specific lung bacterium (Klebsiella pneumoniae) and the human immune system, and how that interaction determines the outcomes of infections/colonization, the patients’ immune response and the fate of their health. I also investigate lung transplant injurious outcomes due to gastric insults, non invasive methods for pharmacological delivery via nanotechnology and ways to prolong ex-vivo lung perfusion to increase the available pool of transplantable organs.
Why did you choose this field?
I always knew I wanted to be in medicine/science since I learned they existed. Curiosity for the unknown, contribution to present and future societies, creativity and need for challenge were always a big part of who I was and I found them all in the career track I picked.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Being a published first author and copies speaker at international conferences before a doctorate degree and the fact that I am a PhD student at Columbia Univeristy are both mind blowing.
Why do you love working in STEM?
Creating, discovering, contributing and it ultimately getting to improvement in the health of humankind. The scope is always clinical and patient related.
Best advice for next generation?
Cherish. Cherish the work you’ve done, the times you had to say no, the priority you gave to what you believe in, the long nights, the patience, the love you pour in every extra hour and the effort and endurance all of us unavoidably have to go through. Cherish that flame, don’t fear it, ever. It’s all worth it.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“Don’t ever apologize for the fire in you.”