A Stanford Biosciences PhD student, Paola seeks to become a professor and contribute to the growth of the scientific community in her hometown in Peru.
A crucial component of tissue self-renewal is the regulated differentiation of newborn cells into their ultimate differentiated fates. An excellent model system to study cell differentiation and renewal is the adult Drosophila midgut because of its simple stem cell lineage and high genetic tractability. I am studying the role of midgut septate junctions, long known to be responsible for the intestinal barrier function, as a checkpoint during differentiation of newborn cells.
My dream job is to become a well-established and respected professor who conducts cutting-edge research, and a great advocate and mentor to my future students. Ideally, my dream job would allow me to reach my long-term career goals, which are to contribute to the growth of the scientific community in my home country, Peru, and to empower and support Latinas in STEM.
I chose Stanford for many reasons: it is an excellent university with faculty who are among the best in their field; it promotes interdisciplinary collaborations such as the Bio-X Fellowships; and during interviews the graduate students seemed genuinely happy and I felt like Stanford truly cared and encouraged its students to embrace all their identities and be proud of them.
To me, diversity means recognizing that each person is unique and that we all come from different walks of life. Stanford is a place where I have been able to freely embrace all my identities and that encourages its students to celebrate their own uniqueness.
As an international student who grew up and attended college in my home country, Peru, my past experiences—both personal and academic—are very different from others. I contribute by sharing my personal experiences and perspectives on many issues that, for many people who grew up in middle/upper-class families in the US, are only seen on the news.
Paola Moreno-Roman, graduate in biology
STORY AND PHOTO COURTESY OF PAOLA MORENO-ROMAN AND STANFORD BIOSCIENCES