Student Profile in Nuclear Envelope
Mentor: Eric N. Olson, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Institution: Rovira i Virgili University
Hometown: Reus, Spain
Awards/Fellowships: I came to the U.S. with two years of funding thanks to a Spanish fellowship from “LaCaixa” (Spanish bank) given by the King of Spain. I also received various travel and poster awards from the UT Southwestern community. Recently, my work got the best poster award in an international Myogenesis Gordon conference in Italy.
How did you become interested in science and/or research?
As a kid, I always wanted to understand how things worked. I asked my parents questions all time, and if there was something they did not know, we would research it together. That motivated me to seek answers on my own. Later on, I became especially interested in biomedical sciences. It is a fast-moving field, technical, but also creative, and our job here can make a difference in society in the long term.
Please describe your research.
My research tries to understand a structure the surrounds the DNA of all cells called the nuclear envelope. We identify new nuclear envelope proteins and generate mouse models lacking those genes to understand their function, especially in the context of muscle diseases. Our research combines mouse genetics, transcriptional regulation, molecular biology, and translational medicine.
Why did you choose UT Southwestern?
I wanted to go to a competitive and research-oriented institution. Research groups at UTSW are leaders in their fields. It was hard to pick only three rotations during my first year. Besides, our university offers a really strong intersection between basic science and translational medicine.
What do you think makes the Genetics, Development and Disease Program one of the best?
That is easy! The GDD community is simply amazing. Our graduate program is competitive but also very friendly and supportive. We always get constructive feedback and support from PIs and other students. Pursuing a Ph.D. can be tough sometimes, but students help each other whenever we can and that is essential to both improve our science and mental health.
What do you love about the Genetics, Development and Disease Program?
I like how easy it is to establish connections and collaborations. If I want to better understand the translational side of my research, I just need to contact a doctor working with those patients in the hospital across the street. If our lab wants to start a new project or a new technique, I know I can count on the community for support. Science is more collaborative every day, and at UTSW everyone is eager to help and interact.
– Andres Ramirez-Martinez, Genetics, Development and Disease Graduate Program