Name: Maria Claudia Villegas
Mentor: Nicholas J. Reiter, Ph.D.
Hi! I’m Maria Claudia Villegas Kcam from Piura, Peru. I study Biology at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia at Lima where I am going to start my last year.
I heard about VISRA from some friends at my University who had already participated in this program and to whom I am really grateful. They told me to not hesitate about applying if I am interested in biomedical research, and to not be afraid of trying again if I couldn´t achieve it the first time and that’s probably one of the best advices they could have given me.
I believe this is a huge opportunity for me especially given that I want to apply to PhD studies after I finish my undergraduate studies. I think that this program will also allow me to have a better understanding of graduate studies and academic research.
I am now working at Dr. Nick Reiter’s lab at the department of Biochemistry where we are investigating C3PO enzyme and its interaction with tRNA; I am expecting to learn a lot because structural biology is a new area for me. People at the lab have been very nice and helpful as well as people in Nashville.
The time I have been here with the others VISRA participants has been really enjoyable, I think that we are a great group; we have planned a many activities together and have visited different places. I really like this city and if you will come in January as me, I think that you should be prepared to extreme shifts of weather. I am glad for being part of this VISRA session and I want to thank all the people in charge of it.