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Why I Was Drawn To The Toxicology Program

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Author: Dalia Sanchez | Category: Final Words... | April 20, 2016

Your name, program, disseration title.

Dalia Sanchez, Masters of Science in Forensic Toxicology, Environmental Toxicants and Their Role in Diabetes

Please tell me about yourself, why did you pick UT Health Science Center, and your program.

I’m from Miami and if you would have told me four years ago that I would be completing my masters in Texas and in toxicology I probably would have looked at you strange. It wasn’t until my last year in undergraduate that I discovered what toxicology was and I decided to pursue it.

The UT Health Science Center has such a hands on program for toxicology, I had to apply. I’m a tactile learner so a program with practicums is exactly what I needed and the program itself is so small it allows a lot of time with my mentor which helps when the dissertation rolls around.

Please provide a few sentences summarizing your dissertation. What was the experience like for you?

My dissertation is about toxic substances in the environment and their possible role in diabetes, with a focus on toxicants in Texas. Specifically, I’m covering possible toxicants from oil drilling, coal mining, and cotton farming.

Since I’m still currently working on it, the experience feels exhausting, but I’m sure I’ll look back on it with fonder memories. For now, I just want to be at the end of the tunnel, rather than still going through it.

Why are you passionate about your research topic? How did you first become interested in it?

I’ve always been interested in the environment, so a research topic dealing with it just felt natural (pun not intended). As for diabetes, my family has a history with it and its increasing prevalence is alarming. It was my mentor that steered me toward combining the two, and a research topic was created.

What was your best memory during graduate school or what did you learn?

My best memory is interning in the Center of Disease Detection. You learn so much in a short amount of time, but it confirmed that this was a career I wanted to pursue.

What’s next?

To enter the real world and get a job in the toxicology field, along with paying down my student debt. It’s not romantic, but its what’s next.

Any advice for your fellow graduate students?

Keep up a hobby, it keeps you grounded when things get crazy and helps as a place of refuge. Also, know that you are going to procrastinate, but plan ahead for it so you don’t lose too much sleep.



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