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Ph.D. Student Lands Competitive GEM Fellowship

March 1, 2022

Quantitative and Systems Biology Ph.D. student Maria MendozaQuantitative and Systems Biology graduate student Maria Mendoza was awarded a fellowship from the National GEM Consortium.

The GEM fellowship promotes opportunities for masters and Ph.D. students to enter industry in areas such as research and development, product development and other high level technical careers. Mendoza said it will allow her to focus 100% on her research and publishing.

“Receiving a GEM fellowship is a dream for me,” said the San Jose native, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Fresno State. “As a part of the fellowship, I will be able to work at Genentech on Alzheimer's disease this summer. They will also fund my education for an entire year after the summer.”

Mendoza works in Professor Kara McCloskey's lab using state-of-the-art tools, such as microfluidics and bioprinting, to study how cancer signals affect circulatory system cells. She uses programming and machine learning tools to automate the image analysis processes. Additionally, she mentors undergraduate students on cell culture, microfluidics, bioprinting, microscopy, report writing, thesis writing and science presentation preparation.

In summer 2021, Mendoza was one of 13 interns from UC Merced who spent eight weeks working virtually with Joint Genome Institute mentors Ben Cole and Margot Bezrutczyk to investigate rigorous research projects, hone science presentation skills and participate in professional development enrichment activities. (Learn more about Mendoza’s internship project.)

Brenda Ortiz

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