Quantitative Biosciences Ph.D. students Marian Dominguez-Mirazo and Rogelio Rodriguez-Gonzalez have been awarded fellowships by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology, for their thesis research. These fellowships will provide Dominguez-Mirazo and Rodriguez-Gonzalez partial scholarships to continue their graduate research at Georgia Tech.
“The nice part about [writing applications] is that they allow you to step back and think on the big picture of your research,” explained Dominguez-Mirazo. As for the big picture of her research, Dominguez-Mirazo will explore “viruses in different steps of the infection cycle” across environments and in different viral and bacterial strains. “I’ll also work to understand how lytic phage shape bacterial communities in complex environments, like biofilms.” Rodriguez-Gonzalez’s work focuses on viruses and human health; he studies immune shielding strategies for mitigating Covid-19 spread and how bacteriophage (bacterial viruses) therapy can treat antibiotic-resistant infections.
Fellowships, like CONACYT, provide more than research funding. Getting a fellowship can also make students more confident in their work. “It validates that your work is seen as valuable to other people and that sometimes effort pays well in the end,” explained Rodriguez-Gonzalez. Dominguez-Mirazo and Rodriguez-Gonzalez are particularly delighted to share the success with their research group and families. “I’m very thankful to my friends and lab mates that read my application and gave me notes,” Dominguez-Mirazo described. “It’s heartwarming to have their support.” Both students gave special thanks to Dr. Jessica Irons, the Weitz Group’s Scientific Project Coordinator and Data Communications Specialist, for her assistance and feedback during the application process.
As Mexican nationals, Dominguez-Mirazo and Rodriguez-Gonzalez are proud that the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology is investing in their research. Dominguez-Mirazo highlighted that “it goes to show that Mexico is willing to invest in their citizens’ higher education and that it values my research and work.”