Gabriela Mendez-Pacheco

AMP Student

Anticipated AMP Graduation Date:

Spring 2022

Research Topic:   

Dr. Guang Yao, Molecular and Cellular Biology  

Individual cells existing in the body go through a number of processes that affect their morphologies and in turn can determine their cell fate. The research conducted in our lab focuses on gene regulation and cell fate decisions within specific gene pathways and networks that contribute to cancer and aging. Our experiments help us better understand and pinpoint what components of these networks are responsible for controlling the life and death decisions of cells. We specifically study the Rb-E2F switch mechanism that results in either cell proliferation or quiescence. 

What do you like to do outside of the lab?     

Outside of the lab, I enjoy attending theater and ballet performances, dancing, trying new foods, cooking, and traveling.                 

What outreach or service activities are you involved in?  

Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Walk Fundraiser

Participation in the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy Annual Conference                        

Favorite Quotation: 

"Of neighborhoods, benevolence is the most beautiful. How can the man be considered wise who when he had the choice does not settle in benevolence"

- Confucius                                  

Why did you choose to enter the MCB AMP Program?  

As a first-generation college student, I thought the accelerated master's program for molecular and cellular biology would bring many new experimental research opportunities as well as personal growth and development. My education has been a focal point and a priority throughout my adolescent and young adult life. When I was twelve years old, my younger brother was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is an x-linked genetic disease that is progressive and very debilitating. As I gained more insight into the science behind the disease, my biological interest and curiosity was piqued and ultimately led me to pursue an education in molecular biology. The biology and science classes that I have taken throughout my undergrad have deepened my fundamental understanding and has increased my desire to learn more. I chose to enter the MCB-AMP program to acquire and strengthen my fundamental research skills and abilities for future research projects, labs, and research teams.