Graduate Student, Human Genetics
My thesis work involves studying metabolic disorders in underrepresented populations; specifically, I am focused on characterizing genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolic effects on skeletal health in Mexican Americans. Hispanic/Latino individuals are often underrepresented in scientific studies and are frequently missing from national data cohorts; however, this population has an increased prevalence of metabolic diseases that predisposes them to reduced bone health compared to their non-Hispanic White and Black counterparts. During my thesis, I aim to conduct rigorous genetic studies of various bone traits in aging Hispanic populations with metabolic risk factors using patient samples from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC). Participating in the APMM will allow me to work directly with the impacted population and clinicians to better understand the clinical impact of the research I am conducting and uncover new areas for investigation. Additionally, by working with the CCHC, I can collaborate with the local Community Action Board in designing community intervention programs, such as the Salud Y Vida, which supports the self-management of uncontrolled diabetes. Joining the APMM will allow me to gain knowledge in important clinical and disease-based areas related to metabolic health. This will better inform my participation in these community collaborations and research plans.