As an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, I worked as a research assistant at a parasitology laboratory led by Dr. Sharon File. We worked with animal models of bilharzia to understand transmission and pathology associated with this endemic parasite. I also volunteered at the local veterinary clinic to gain contact hours working with domestic species. With my family's support and the help of many mentors who selflessly opened their doors to their clinics and research laboratories, I finished my Bachelor's degree in Biology and fulfilled the experience requirements to apply and be accepted into veterinary school. I completed the veterinary program at the University Of Wisconsin Madison School Of Veterinary Medicine, and then I decided to specialize in veterinary pathology. After completing my veterinary pathology residency and completing board certifying exams, I worked in multiple settings, including academia, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and primate centers.
As a veterinary pathologist at the Southwest National Primate Research Center, I have the privilege to work with laboratory animal models of infectious diseases in a research setting. This opportunity has been the most rewarding experience of my professional career. Looking back at the path that landed me in San Antonio, Tx, I will be eternally grateful for the academic mentors that provided career-defining experiences.