Graduate student Carlos Garcia has learned that a solid background in research can open up new career possibilities.
Garcia, a graduate student in the Department of Oral Biology, was a high school science teacher who always harbored a love of research. “I really enjoyed teaching people, but I wanted to see if research was my passion,’’ he explains.
He enrolled in the department’s PhD program to find out. He chose to work with Dr. Daniel Kadouri, an internationally recognized expert in predatory bacteria, which can be harnessed to kill the bacteria that cause disease.
“I wanted to do something different from anybody else. Predatory bacteria has the wow factor,’’ he declares. “I’m looking at the factors that affect predation, how these predators can attack and kill.’’
His research has prompted him to discover possibilities outside of academia that combine his love of research and teaching. He’s hoping to pursue a career in medical affairs, working with pharmaceutical companies to relay clinical knowledge gained from trials to health care professionals and stakeholders.
“This work has trained me to become a better writer and investigate things,’’ says Garcia. “The greatest benefit has been the opportunity to give presentations and get feedback. Now that I see the research side of things, I can educate people on how these amazing findings can be turned into therapeutic use.’’
Adds Kadouri, “When many students graduate they don’t take the project with them, they take the scientific tools they learned from their academic career: the ability to read through data, understand it and disseminate. The tools he’s learned here, he can take them to whatever field he wants.’’’