Ari Michael Aviles

Ari Aviles

Current Institution: Florida Atlantic University

Hometown: Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Fields of Interest:

Medical Genetics – Human and Animal

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

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

I decided to study genetics as it is the basis for describing and treating many diseases. Before that transition I planned to study protein biochemistry, but I felt the approach can only describe some disease states without exploring treatment. In addition, most of my hands on lab experience centers around genetics-based experimental designs.

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

I spent summer 2021 in College Station as a research intern under Dr. Threadgill and I had a blast. The area is entertaining with a smaller town feel, but many cities are nearby for weekend trips. From an academic aspect, I found the interdisciplinary nature of the program particularly appealing to my broad scientific background. However, the most important factor in deciding to come to A&M were the personal connections I made with the program and my peers. As an extrovert I thrive on the familiar energy of the program and the social atmosphere it fosters.

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

I’m looking into a method to deliver therapies to cancer cells specifically, based on the specific host tumor genome. Right now, my first approach entails exosome-mediated CRISPR delivery.

Fun Facts:

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

I spend much of my time hunting rare variants in Pokémon games. Not many people know I play ultimate frisbee or basketball – I hope to join open rec leagues for both. Another totally random hidden talent of mine is getting the exact mass of granular powder necessary for a solution/reaction without trying to be that specific. I’ll just casually pour exactly 1.5 grams in my first attempt.

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

I’ve had some weird pets – from lizards to crawfish – but the only one moving with me is Cleo, a Uromastyx lizard. She may not look like it but she’s a great cuddler.

Favorite place you have travelled to.

Not sure if this counts, but I was at the 2021 A&M-Alabama game. I lost some hearing from the yells, but that game was SUPER worth it. With the pandemic subsiding I’m excited to travel even more.