Author: Dr. Teresa Evans | Category: Meet The Researcher | November 04, 2015
Dr. LaShauna Evans,
a postdoctoral fellow, explained that she always wanted to be a physician in
undergrad but as she was preparing for medical school, she realized that
research was her true passion.
“As school happens, life also happens” Dr. Evans said, “I
remember my mom telling me that when my brother was stillborn she felt like her
doctor was not listening to her. So when
I realized I no longer wanted to be an OBGYN, I focused my research on
Dr. Evans explained her current research, which focuses on
the environmental factors that impact pregnancy specifically the effect of
maternal obesity on the placenta.
Dr. Akash Bhattacharya, a postdoctoral fellow, shared his exciting story of how he became a
He stated that he saw
the light at the University of Michigan, where he found that proteins are the
building blocks of life and are crucial.
Dr. Bhattacharya explained that “proteins are a whole lot
more than the building blocks of life.
They are locks and keys. . . well more like blocks of jello. . . but
they do something useful. They occasionally fight back against inflammation and
With his intricate story telling he describes the invasion
of HIV as:
“Viruses attack the cells just like invaders attack a
castle. When the virus attacks the cell it is wrapped in a coat of armor
(capsid) and it must be taken off before the virus can enter the nucleus. He must take off his coat of armor before he
enters the court yard. If something interferes with that process we might be
able to reduce viral infection.”
It is the development of a protein that can interfere with
this process that is the subject of Akash’s research.
Dr. Bridget Ford,
postdoctoral fellow, is a native south Texan who went to St. Mary’s University
for her undergraduate degree in biological science. She credits her academic
advisor for convincing her to go to the dark side … research.
After a summer undergraduate research fellowship, her
interest in biomedical science was piqued and thus began a lifelong love affair
She is a graduate of the
Molecular Medicine Ph.D. Program at
UTHSCSA where she investigated the role of ADAM17, a matrix metalloprotease, in
the development of diabetic kidney disease.
Presently, in her postdoctoral
fellowship, Bridget has continued to focus her research on diabetes; she now
studies diabetes as a risk factor for stroke.
Given her passion for science and
learning, she also shared with the teachers that, “I found that my heart truly
lies in teaching, so I’m currently an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s
University. I love the moments when I can use my research as a teaching tool.
Concepts really seem to ‘click’ with students when they can see how things
relate to real-life situations. ”
This article is part of the "Meet The Researcher" series which showcases researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
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