Silvia Cervantes Cortes joined PIBBS in fall 2015 and is currently part of the Medical Biophysics PhD program, working with her mentor Ansgar Siemer, PhD. Silvia completed her Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at USC in 2015, which gave her the opportunity to experience a supportive and stimulating research environment firsthand. Silvia is inspired by science because of how it gives people a chance to engage in the process of exploration and discovery. Scientists can investigate the underlying mechanisms of everything around while learning about the molecular origins of these processes and what drives them.
Silvia believes the PIBBS program is preparing her for her career by offering training sessions, networking events and professional development workshops. She feels that having access to these various opportunities contributes to fostering scientific growth, leadership and independence among the students. Silvia is the vice president of CodeOn!, a club that aims to build informatics skills in the Health Sciences Campus community. She also serves as a mentor to first-year PIBBS students. As a PIBBS student, Silvia has attended several national and international conferences, including the Biophysical Society’s annual meeting. As a fourth-year student, Silvia spends most of her day working on experiments in addition to attending weekly lab meetings, graduate seminars and journal club.
In her downtime, Silvia enjoys spending time with family and friends as a way to relieve the stress of graduate school. She also makes time for activities like watching movies, visiting museums and reading. In the future, Silvia would like to oversee a lab of her own in an academic or government setting. Her goal is to continue using molecular, biochemical and spectroscopic techniques to further our understanding of the structure, mechanism and role of proteins associated with neurodegenerative disorders.