A Stanford Biosciences PhD student, Dorothy fell in love with Stanford through her participation in the Stanford Summer Research Program. She hopes to work in the public sector, where she can have broad impact by influencing international health policy.
Many recently emerged viral diseases including Nipah, Marburg, SARS, and Ebola are hypothesized to have their origins in bats. I am now conducting a co-mentored thesis project combining the expertise of Karla Kirkegaard and Elizabeth Hadly to investigate innate immune mechanisms employed by bats to combat viral infection. While still very early in my career, I plan to continue conducting research investigating the disease ecology of zoonotic pathogens that jump from animal reservoirs into humans. In the long run, I would love to work for an organization such as the World Health Organization where I can use my training to influence international policies impacting human health.
I fell in love with Stanford after participating in the Stanford Summer Research Program (SSRP) as an undergraduate. I was enticed by the excitement of both faculty and students about the research being conducted, and impressed by the limitless resources available to graduate students to ensure their health, happiness, and success. Ultimately, I decided to come to Stanford because I was overwhelmed by how much faculty and administrators care about their trainees, and preparing the next generation of great scientists.
To me, diversity is the incredible power that comes from the contribution of an individual's own unique experiences to a larger group. My experiences as a daughter of Haitian immigrants influence every part of who I am as a scientist, from my research interests in infectious disease to my passion for advocating for the needs underrepresented minorities. I hope that my story will inspire others to pursue their own passions.
Dorothy Tovar, graduate in microbiology and immunnology
STORY AND PHOTO COURTESY OF DOROTHY TOVAR AND STANFORD BIOSCIENCES