Daniel Fernando Zegarra Ruiz (2012)
VU Mentor: Luc Van Kaer
I am Daniel F. Zegarra Ruiz and I’m, currently, a 4th year Biology and Pharmacy and biochemistry undergraduate student at the Peruvian university Cayetano Heredia. In the near future, as I am close to achieving my bachelor’s degree and due to my passion for applied immunology, I plan to apply for a PhD program and pursue a scientific career.
I’ve always been interested in immunology and fortunately, here at Vanderbilt, I have the chance to work at Dr. Luc Van Kaer’s laboratory under the tutoring of Ph.D. Vrajesh Vasantkumar Parekh. In his laboratory, Dr. Van Kaer and his research group investigate about NKT cells and their influence on autoimmune diseases among other pathologies. Throughout these 8 weeks I’ll try to become skilled in several immunological techniques, develop myself as a researcher and find out the dos and don’ts in science and investigation.
I applied to the Vanderbilt International Summer Research Academy because I aim to be a biomedical researcher and when I found out that I was selected I knew my goals could be accomplished. When I first arrived in Nashville, the organization and peacefulness of the city amazed me…Such a modern yet environmental place. If I had any advice for anyone interested in this program it would be to enjoy, learn and never stop pursuing a dream; and if that dream is becoming a biomedical researcher, then Vanderbilt is a great place to start.
*Daniel begins a PhD program at Yale University in Fall 2014.