Gabriela Geraldo Mendes
Dr. Sarah Bondos Lab
Entrance year: 2015
Hometown: Olimpia, Brazil
“I work with a protein called Ultrabithorax (Ubx) from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In Drosophila, Ubx binds DNA and regulates body development of the fly. In gentle buffer conditions, Ubx self-assembles into materials forming films and fibers. My research project involves the creation of biomaterials, composed of Ubx genetically fused to other functional proteins, for treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer”
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics
Why did you choose the Genetics Ph.D. program at A&M?
After receiving a master’s degree in Cell Biology in Brazil, I applied for Graduate Programs in the US. Searching for Ph.D. Programs in Genetics, I thought that the Genetics Program at TAMU offered a wider variety of research and would be the best option.
How did the first year of the program help you prepare for your independent research project?
Lab rotations during the first semester really helped me to figure out what kind of research projects and lab I wanted to work in. Talking to other Gene students about labs and PIs was helpful as well. Thus, I was able to find the right lab and a great PI to develop my research projects.
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?
It was through the Genetics Program that I learned about many other career paths in Science, other than Academia and Industry, that I feel interested in. More specifically, the Career Club created by the Program offers to the students useful discussions about these scientific career paths, as well as advice for job interviews and how to build a competitive CV during Grad school.
Fuego or Torchy’s?
Who was your famous role model growing up?
I learned about Mayana Zatz, a Brazilian geneticist when I was in high school and since then she has inspired me as a women scientist because of her great research work and contributions to society.