1. What is your position at your institution? I am currently a first-year graduate student in the Tri-Institutional Ph.D. Program in Chemical Biology, a program at the interface of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and The Rockefeller University. Prior to graduate school, I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a Minor in Computer Science from Florida State University. My family is from Spain, and I was raised in Miami, Florida.
  1. What are your research interests? My primary research interests are in exploring/developing new and exciting targeted cancer therapies. I am particularly interested in exploiting the ability of nanobodies to bind in unique pockets and conformations, expanding the readily available space for the design of novel therapeutics. I am also interested in understanding the genetics of cancer and specifically alterations that define cancer genomes, creating avenues for targeted approaches and synthetic lethal interactions. In the Rout Lab with the NCDIR, I plan to investigate the non-LTR transposon long interspersed nuclear element-1, LINE-1. I am interested in how LINE1 can induce an immune response and the downstream signaling in response to LINE1 derepression.

What motivated you to rotate in an NCDIR Lab? I was motivated to pursue a rotation in Dr. Rout’s lab because of his work at the forefront of the nanobody field. His research leveraging this new technology with its applications to cancer and other diseases is a perfect fit for my interests. In addition, the collaborative nature of his lab and its insightful mentors are huge factors that drew me in and have contributed to making me feel welcome.

What do you hope to gain from your experience at NCDIR? In what ways do you think NCDIR is best equipped to help you achieve your specific goals? Through my experience in the Rout Lab, I hope to become immersed in the close-knit circle that is the NCDIR. I believe the NCDIR presents a unique opportunity to engage me in collaborative efforts regarding ongoing projects in the Rout Lab. Specifically regarding my interest in the nanobody projects, I am hoping to both learn from the breadth of expertise available in the NCDIR and contribute to these projects.