Diana N. Medina
Dr. Jon Skare’s Lab
Entrance year: 2013
Hometown: Isabela, Puerto Rico
“For my thesis work, I am evaluating small non-coding RNA molecules (RNA that is not translated into proteins) and their affect in gene regulation. These small RNAs can bind to transcripts of genes and affect the transcription and/or translation of the gene in question. I am specifically interested in small RNAs affecting genes important for infection in the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi.”
Why did you choose the Genetics Ph.D. program at A&M?
I loved microbial genetics and the Genetics program had excellent labs with great research questions in this area.
How did the first year of the program help you prepare for your independent research project?
Having a PI mentor was great because I had the chance to discuss my different rotations and the pros and cons of each one. Because of these helpful discussions, I ended up choosing the best lab for my thesis work. I believe choosing the right lab and mentor will help the student make good progress towards their degree and make the Ph.D. journey a smoother road.
What is at least one big lesson you have learned in the Genetics graduate program that you think is widely applicable to your future pursuits?
I strongly believed that graduate students should in addition of making good progress towards their Ph.D., should learn about different career in sciences. They should find career options they would enjoy doing and build their CV towards those goals. Professional development is essential for the students to be competitive applicants down the line for a job. I highly appreciate the Genetics Program recognizing this and the efforts the program is making to help their students in this aspect.
Fuego or Torchy’s?
Neither, El Tío taqueria in downtown Bryan is my go-to taco spot.
Who was your famous role model growing up?
I remember being fascinated when I learned about Barbara McClintock discovery of transposons in maize when I was an undergraduate student. She was such an inspiration to me and one of the reasons I got interested in research.