• January 23, 2022
 UTEP Ph.D. Students earn Stanford University Honor

Juan Aguilera, M.D., left, and Amy R. Nava, right. Photo: UTEP Communications

UTEP Ph.D. Students earn Stanford University Honor

UTEP doctoral students Juan Aguilera, M.D., and Amy R. Nava were selected for Stanford University’s PRISM (Postdoctoral Recruitment Initiative in Sciences and Medicine) postdoctoral interview opportunity.

Aguilera and Nava, both Ph.D. candidates in UTEP’s Interdisciplinary Health Sciences (IHS) program, were awarded an expenses-paid trip to visit Stanford University Oct. 9-12.

They will tour the campus, meet with current Stanford postdoctoral fellows and potential faculty mentors and interview for postdoctoral positions at the university.

Stanford PRISM enables late-stage graduate students from diverse backgrounds who are planning their postdoctoral training the opportunity to see firsthand if a postdoctoral position at Stanford University would be a good match for them.

Aguilera is a Ph.D. research associate in UTEP’s Institute for Healthy Living and an instructor for the Department of Public Health Sciences. He earned a medical degree from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez in 2009 and a Master of Public Health degree from UTEP in 2016. He was awarded the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation Fellowship in 2015 and served as a graduate research fellow at the Institute for Healthy Living for two years.

Aguilera’s research is focused on the relationship between physical activity, cardiorespiratory health outcomes, and impact of air quality in at-risk populations. In 2019, he published two manuscripts and presented at several conferences.

Through a collaboration between the Institute for Healthy Living and the Department of Civil Engineering at UTEP, Aguilera has secured a grant from the Center for Advancing Research in Transportation, Emissions, Energy, and Health to fund his dissertation work.

Nava has served as a graduate teaching assistant at both New Mexico State University and UTEP’s Department of Biological Sciences. She is currently a biology lecturer at El Paso Community College and a teaching assistant in UTEP’s Interdisciplinary Health Sciences department.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in bicrobiology and a Master of Science in biology from NMSU.

Her research is focused on investigating the role of calcium ions in cell signaling and regulation of genetic expression of the multidrug resistant mechanism, efflux in S. aureus and clinically isolated MRSA. Delfina Dominguez, Ph.D., clinical lab science professor, and Nava are also collaborating with other scientists to develop a microfluidic platform for bacterial single cell analysis.

Nava was an author on two publications recently published in the journal of Environmental Technology and Innovation (2019) and one publication in Botany (2017). She has also presented research at several local and national conferences.

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