Angélica M. Olmo-Fontánez, M.Sc., has been named 2020 recipient of the Douglass Graduate Student Fellowship
Angélica M. Olmo-Fontánez, M.Sc., has been named 2020 recipient of the Douglass Graduate Student Fellowship.
The fellowship was founded by Donald Douglass, a friend of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, who was interested in sponsoring post and predoctoral fellowships for promising scientists. The fellowship will support up to 2 years of stipend support for her Ph.D. studies.
Angélica is a first-year student in the Cell Biology, Genetics, and Molecular Medicine Discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate program at UT Health San Antonio Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is also in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program.
“I know this fellowship will be the first step to elevate my career to the next level, providing me the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques applicable to my research,” she said. “I truly appreciate this opportunity.”
She is in the lab of Dr. Jordi B. Torrelles, at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. She is studying the molecular and cellular oxidative changes in the alveolar lining fluid (ALF) of young and elderly human subjects to improve understanding of inflammatory changes in the lung in old age.
“Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide caused by the infectious agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis,” she said. “Our lab wants to understand the effect that human lung mucosa has on M. tuberculosis pathogenesis and moreover, how TB comorbidities such as aging could drive susceptibility to develop active TB disease.”
Her long-term goal is to become an independent investigator studying infectious diseases, with direct implications in human health.
“Having a background in microbiology, I used to focus my studies solely on microbes. However, by combining biomedical sciences and infectious diseases, I’ve come to learn that there are a huge array of methods that can be applied to researching how immune systems respond to pathogens,” she said. “It is an exciting field that incorporates different disciplines, including microbiology, cellular biology, molecular biology, and immunology. I am very eager to become a part of the next generation of scientists and contribute my hard work and dedication, especially at a time when such research is critical for global health.”