Alumni

Amanda Benavides

Class of 2009
B.S. Engineering Science
University of Iowa MD/PhD candidate

“My undergraduate research experience through the MARC program provided such a unique opportunity for me to be fully immersed in the world of science for the first time, understanding how different fields operate on a daily basis and really obtaining the hands-on skills at multiple elite universities and health science centers throughout the country firsthand. By integrating multiple resources for its students, the MARC program really was the catalyst for my current scientific interests as well as some of my future career goals in the field.”


Amy Arguello, Ph.D.

Class of 2004
B.S. Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Department of Neuroscience

“The MARC program provided me with a unique opportunity to be introduced to basic science research. Through participation in weekly seminars, summer research internships and presentations at annual scientific meetings I realized how much I enjoyed science. At every step of my career, I’m reminded of how these experiences were essential to my development as a scientist.”


Annie Arguello

Class of 2006
B.S. Biophysics
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student
Department of Psychiatry
University of California San Francisco

“The MARC program exposed me to the world of basic biomedical research and gave me the opportunity as an undergraduate to work at top-tiered universities across the country. It propelled my interest in science and has given me the skills and knowledge to develop as a graduate student.”


Bryan Bui

Class of 2009
B.S. Biophyics
B.A. Mathematics
Research Student/Teaching Assistant
Nanobiophysics Lab/ Physics Dept
STEM Doctoral Fellow
University of Texas of Arlington

“As an undergraduate, my opportunity to be in the MARC program revealed to me the intriguing, rewarding and prospective profession I had never considered for my future. The research experiences provided to me helped me to develop my skills of observation, organization, analyzing and many other skills that would help with my future in doing research. I would like to thank all the hard-working personnel involved in creating and sustaining a program of this caliber; you are the reason we could get such a chance as the MARC program.”


Dante Gonzalez

Class of 2009
B.S. Biology
Graduate Student
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Class of 2014

“StMU is not StMU with out the outstanding individuals that work very diligently to help you discover your passions. Thanks to my academic advisor, Dr. Timothy Raabe, and my never ending curiosity, StMU allowed me to explore a realm of science that I had not yet consider as part of my future endeavors. While exploring research, scientific research soon became a passion that has now become part of my life and although research is a hate/love relationship, I just cannot get enough of it and I don’t know where I would be with out it.”


Denise M. O. Ramirez, Ph.D.

Class of 2003
B.S. Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Neuroscience
UT Southwestern Medical Center

“The summer research programs I participated in as an undergraduate exposed me to high quality scientific research at several prestigious institutions and allowed me to apply and extend the excellent academic training I received at St. Mary’s. These experiences greatly influenced my decision to embark on a career as a research scientist and provided me a solid foundation for success.”


Eduardo Salas

Class of 2006
B.S. Biology
Staff Research Associate
University of California, San Francisco

“The experience I gained from undergraduate research was instrumental in guiding me into the realm of biomedical research. With the support of St. Mary’s through the MARC program, I developed my scientific training early, enabling me to be competitive in a field that necessitates aptitude.”


Eric Salazar, Ph.D.

Class of 2003
B.S. Biology; B.A. Music
Tri-Institutional MD/PhD program
Weill Cornell Medical College/Rockefeller University/Sloan-Kettering Institute

“Having been raised in a small town in South Texas by parents who were farm workers, my time at St. Mary’s University was an enlightening experience. The education and exposure to basic research that I received in the St. Mary’s University MARC program was the major influence on my decision to pursue a career in academic medicine. With solid mentorship, excellent courses, and rewarding research experiences, I was able to acquire the skills necessary for continued graduate training in the Tri-Institutional MD/PhD program.”


Fernanda Ruiz

Class of 2006
B.S. Biology, B. A. Chemistry
Graduate Student
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Baylor College of Medicine

“During my undergraduate years at St. Mary’s University I was given the opportunity to gain invaluable research experience. I was mentored by truly bright and enthusiastic scientists that showed me how exciting science can be. As a result, I have chosen to pursue a career in science and complete my doctorate in molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine.”


Frances Valencia

Class of 2007
B.S. Biology
Pre-doctoral Vale-Asche/Mclaughlin Fellow
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

“I am a young scientist working vigorously toward my professional goals. I still have a long road ahead of me and lots of hard work to do, most likely indefinitely. I would not have it any other way. The MARC program truly influenced my career/life decision to become a scientist. I am grateful for the opportunities it has provided me in making an impact in the scientific community whose overall commitment is to global health.”


Gina Buffaloe

Class of 2010
B.S. Biophysics, B.A. Mathematics
Junior Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California – Davis

“The fundamental skills I gained through the MARC program helped me to function in a variety of research fields . Additionally, my research experiences introduced me to the hard work and original thinking that is expected in this career path.”


Jennifer Gonzalez-McGehee, Ph.D.

Class of 2005
B.S. Chemistry
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Baylor College of Medicine

“Undergraduate research initially sparked my interest in biochemistry and gave me the confidence to pursue a career in biomedical research. As I entered graduate school, I felt ahead of the game—not only did I have the knowledge from advanced science courses, I also had the technical skill set gained during undergraduate research. Additionally, the early interaction with scientists from various disciplines gave me a broader view of science, and now my integrative approach to studying protein structure using biochemistry and biophysics has made me a successful scientist.”


Kathleen Galindo, Ph.D.

Class of 1999
B.S. Biology
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
UT Southwestern Medical Center

“The hands-on research experience provided to me as an undergraduate student exposed me to exceptional cutting-edge research at top-notch institutions throughout the country, and helped me appreciate the potential impact of my contributions in the biological sciences. These opportunities not only solidified my commitment to pursue a career as a research scientist, but also provided me with the practical and academic tools necessary to be a successful young scientist in a highly competitive, yet rewarding profession.”


Kristine Garza, Ph.D.

Class of 1991
B.S. Biology
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Univ. of Texas at El Paso

“My MARC experience through St. Mary’s was an unbelievable opportunity. It allowed me to develop confidence in my scientific abilities; prepared me for the rigors of graduate school; introduced me to my disciplinary passion; connected me to future mentors (who to this day still provide me with support); helped me to tie my cultural identity with my scientific endeavors; and instilled an enthusiasm to give back to my community. St. Mary’s and the MARC Program were crucial to my development from all perspectives, catapulting me to where I am today.”


Lindsey Treviño, Ph.D.

Class of 2004
B.S. Chemistry
Postdoctoral Fellow
Baylor College of Medicine

“I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate. Not only did my research experiences help shape my research interests and career goals, but they also introduced me to the importance and power of mentoring. I firmly believe that the foundation for my success was built at St. Mary’s University with the help of supportive mentors.”


Maria A. (Toni) Gutierrez

Class of 2003
B.S. Biology
Graduate Student
Immunology Graduate Program
UT Southwestern Medical Center

“I have always been fascinated by the sciences, so as I grew up in small South Texas town it seemed like practicing medicine was the career for me. While at St. Mary’s University, my advisor, José Miguel Cimadevilla, introduced me to a different world of science I had not considered, and through the MARC program I gained opportunities to explore this new interest. I thank my lucky stars because without St. Mary’s and Dr. Cimadevilla, I may have never realized my true passion for biomedical research and scientific discovery!”


Marilyn Archer

Class of 2009
B.S. Biology
Graduate Student at UT Southwestern Medical Center

“I am grateful to St. Mary’s University and the MARC program for providing me with an opportunity to do research at an undergraduate level. By being in a lab not only did I learn basic laboratory techniques I also learned how to critically think about a scientific problem and I was able to design experiments as a result. This way of thinking as helped me everyday in graduate school.”


Nancy J. Reyes

Class of 2007
B.S. Biology
Immunology Graduate Student
Department of Ophthalmology
UT Southwestern Medical Center

“St. Mary’s University provided me with opportunities in research that helped spark my interest in the field of science. These opportunities allowed me to have an understanding of what was necessary to become a research scientist. The training I received gave me the foundation needed for graduate school.”


Vincent Aguirre, M.D., Ph.D.

Class of 1992
B.S. Biology
Assistant Professor
Division of Digestive Liver Diseases
Division of Hypothalamic Research
UT Southwestern Medical Center

“The undergraduate research experience provided to me at St. Mary’s University was my first exposure to the world of basic investigation and the springboard for my career in academic medicine. It further provided me the skills to excel in my graduate training at Harvard Medical School and now as a faculty member at UT Southwestern Medical Center.”