Adriana Ramirez Negron was always told that the filthiest public places are airplanes. Her paranoia to sanitize everything made her a germaphobe. Over time, this sparked a question in her mind, “Who’s responsible for the spread of the disease: a sick individual or a microbe?” This question turned her fear of germs into a desire to understand the mechanisms of infectious disease and the microbial world.
Ramirez Negron earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2021 from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was introduced to the world of research and applications of the scientific method while working there in her first laboratory researching phytoplankton. She was awarded the NIH-MARC scholarship, which allowed her to explore more aspects of microbiology by joining a virology lab. She planned to pursue her second-summer research experience as part of the MARC scholarship at New York University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, but that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was determined to do research, so she worked remotely for a lab at the University of Washington as part of the American Physician Scientist Association’s Virtual Summer Research Program. Through her three research experiences, the NIH MARC Scholarship, research presentations, and mentorships, she is convinced graduate school is the next step in her path to study and eradicate human disease.
“St. Jude’s PhD program aligns perfectly with my career goals,” she says. “Not only is there an emphasis on studying childhood diseases, but the bench to bedside application of research is unparalleled, which is exactly where I want to be as a graduate student.”
Hometown: Caguas, Puerto Rico