Monica M. Santisteban

Instructor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medicine

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Find mentors who will be your advocates and support you.

What do you do?

I study the detrimental effects of hypertension on the brain, specifically on the blood-brain barrier, cerebral blood flow regulation, and neurovascular function.

Why did you choose this field?

I was always interested in science, but it was really my undergraduate mentor who suggested and inspired me to apply to graduate school.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I think it’s important to appreciate every step of the way and realize that whatever you set your mind to is possible and achievable! My training was funded pre- and post-doctoral fellowships from the American Heart Association. Younger me would be impressed by receiving my own funding, but it’s also important to remember that you have to apply, apply and keep applying to every opportunity available and do not let the rejections get you down.

Why do you love working in STEM?

What I look forward to the most is the fact that we are creating knowledge. Even if it is in our own little niche field, your research is providing new information which we did not know before, and that is AMAZING!

Best advice for next generation?

Find mentors who will be your advocates and support you. STEM is not the easiest environment for women or underrepresented minorities, and unfortunately we have lost too many bright minds because of this, but it is important to find and build a support system because STEM needs you!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

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