Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Cynthia Blanco Works As A Clinician Scientist
When did you first become interested in science?
When I was in high school.
Why did you pick The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and your program?
I wanted to do a Masters in Science in Clinical Investigation at the same time as my Neonatal Fellowship and it was offered here. I thought it will be a great asset to have since I wanted to do clinical research. I liked the city and it was close to where my husband was stationed at the time (Ft. Hood, TX)
Tell me more about your career path.
I am a Tenured Professor in Pediatrics. I am clinician-scientist.
Tell me about your current career, what do you do?
I do clinical research and I am currently the PI of over 10 studies. One of the studies I am the PI for a multicenter double blind randomized controlled trial studying infants with congenital heart disease and the effect of nutritional interventions on their growth. In addition, I do basic science research investigating the early origins of diabetes in preterm babies.
What is a day like in your job?
Very busy. I do clinical work in the neonatal intensive care unit several times a year and I take one night call per week in the same unit. I have a fully staffed research lab where I do gene expression, protein content, ELISA’s and other measurements to study glucose metabolism. I run clinical trials with my research staff and have several patients enrolled at all times. I am the director of the transport team via air and ground for neonates.
How did the education you get at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio prepare you?
It was perfect for my career path.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Multitasking clinical and basic science research.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Improving the survival of the tiniest patients and being able to send them home
What would you tell a current student interested in your career? Any advice?
It is a demanding career but the reward of taking care of a fragile child throughout their worse times in their lives and being part of overcoming their difficult journey…. It is nothing but the best feeling on earth.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Skiing, traveling, spending time with my two kids and husband.