Aaron DeSalvio

Aaron DeSalvio

Current Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hometown: Peoria, IL

Fields of Interest:

Plant Genetics

Microbial Genetics

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

When and how did you realize that you wanted to study Genetics?

I began college as a general biology major, and after year 1, I switched fields entirely and found myself in an economics program. While walking through the library on my way to study for an economic policy exam, out of the corner of my eye, I caught someone’s computer screen that had a picture of a Punnett square and was surprised to find I felt like I was missing out on something! It’s an embarrassing story, but I changed majors the next semester and started studying molecular and cellular biology. I never looked back.

Why did you choose the Genetics PhD program at A&M?

Texas A&M is a highly respected research university that houses a lot of labs I’m interested in. I strongly believe genetics holds the key to being able to solve the majority of 21st century problems, and I want to be equipped to be at the forefront of finding solutions to the issues that our generation and coming generations will inevitably face. I heard great things about the program from a current student (my significant other) and I’m grateful to be an Aggie for more reasons than one!

If you were free to choose anything, what research question/topic would you like to address for your graduate studies?

I am interested in exploring ways to use genetics to optimize food production to meet global hunger demands, as well as to contribute to more sustainable methods of acquiring energy from renewable resources.

Fun Facts:

Who was your famous role model growing up?

I have looked up to Drake for a long time. I know too many lyrics to his songs!

What would be your dream job after graduation from the program?

I would love to work for a government research agency, or to start a business of my own.

Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what are they.

I am passionate about archery, and I wouldn’t say I’m talented yet, but check back in a few years!

Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.

I have a golden retriever named Josie. She’s 9 years old and still acts like a puppy. She joins me at the archery range every day and loves to chase the remote-control car I’ve had since she was born around our front yard.


Favorite place you have travelled to.

Phoenix, AZ. I loved the cacti, mountains, and dry heat!