Congratulations to Brenda Marin-Rodriguez, an undergraduate student in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, who has been awarded one of nine Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The fellowships provide $46,500 per year for up to four years to outstanding students from underrepresented groups pursuing graduate studies in life sciences.
Marin-Rodriguez, who is from Puerto Rico, has finished her classes at UC Davis and will graduate in June, 2013. She is currently an intern in the laboratory of Catherine Dulac at Harvard University, supported by an HHMI Capstone award. After graduating, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular biology, but hasn’t settled on a specific school yet.
Marin-Rodriguez originally came to UC Davis to study Animal Science, with the aim of going to vet school. But she found that the science classes in her schools had not prepared her for college-level study.
“When I arrived as a first year undergraduate and sat down in my first real science lecture, I felt completely mystified. Fortunately, I received a lot of help and guidance from an undergraduate research program called BUSP (Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program),” Marin-Rodriguez said. She also got help through the Special Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP) and MARCUSTAR/BSHARP (Biological Scholars Advanced Research Program).
In her second year as an undergraduate, Marin-Rodriguez began working in the laboratory of the late Simon Chan in the Department of Plant Biology, where she worked on a number of research projects. Papers from some of those projects are to be published this summer.