PREP (Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program)

PREP Alum Spotlight Archive

Daisy Castillo-Guzman (UChicago PREP Class of 2016) is currently pursuing her PhD at University of California, Davis and was recently awarded a prestigious NIH F31 Dissertation Fellowship!  Daisy’s research project title is “Uncovering Novel Roles for Splicing Factor SF3B1 in Transcription Dynamics, R-loop Metabolism, and Chromatin Structure” and her research is being performed in the Chedin Lab at UC Davis in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department.  Earlier this year, Daisy had the opportunity to present her research in a plenary talk at the 2020 Keystone Gene Regulation Meeting.  When Daisy started in her graduate program, she was first appointed to the UC Davis IMSD program and then to the MCB T32 training grant, before applying for and receiving her F31 grant.  Besides working on her dissertation research, Daisy enjoys volunteering in the Young Scientist Program (YSP), an outreach program that provides opportunities that enhance K-12 science education through interactive experiments and activities in the classroom.  She has also participated in the PREP program admissions committee at UC Davis, and each year gets the opportunity to talk to PREP Scholars about her experience in applying to graduate school and provides them with advice as they prepare to enter PhD programs.   Congratulations to Daisy on her Fellowship award and all her success so far in graduate school!

Dr. Liz M. García Peterson, PhD, completed the UChicago PREP program in 2015 then enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her graduate studies in Molecular & Environmental Toxicology.  Under the mentorship of her thesis advisor, Dr. Nihal Ahmad, Liz studied the role of the SIRT6 protein in melanoma development and progression.  Her dissertation research led to 4 publications including 2 first author manuscripts.  Throughout graduate school, Liz attended AACR and other national conferences where she presented her research.  She was supported by a SciMed Graduate Research Scholar (GRS) Fellowship and an NIAMS Diversity Supplement while at UW-M.  Liz was also involved in organizing science outreach activities for graduate students, and served as a TA and mentor in the laboratory to undergraduate students.  Liz graduated from UW-Madison with her PhD in May, 2019 and was subsequently awarded an NIH IRTA Fellowship.  She is now continuing her postdoctoral studies at the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C. and was featured recently in an article from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. See link here.

Xiomarie Alejandro-Navarreto received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, and participated in the University of Chicago PREP Program in 2015-16.  As a PREP Scholar, Xiomarie joined the laboratory of Dr. Sean Crosson in the Department of Microbiology.  Her PREP research was recently published in 2019 in the Molecular Microbiology Journal.  After the PREP, Xiomarie enrolled in the University of Illinois at Chicago, Graduate Education in Biomedical Sciences program, where she was awarded an NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship for her first two years of graduate school.  Xiomarie joined the laboratory of Dr. Nancy Freitag at UIC and is continuing her research in the Microbiology field.  In graduate school, Xiomarie has been the recipient of multiple travel grants to conferences to present her research, and was awarded the AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science Fellowship in 2018.  She passed her qualifying exams this year and has been involved in teaching, mentoring undergraduate trainees in her lab, and is active in her local SACNAS chapter serving as Secretary of the Board.  Congrats Xiomarie on all your accomplishments!

PREP alum Tina Roman (PREP Class of 2015) is currently a PhD candidate at University of Chicago. In June of 2020, she was involved in organizing a fundraiser and initiative that provided and distributed protestor packs, which included facemasks and other supplies, to support the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in Chicago. You can read more about this student-led initiative on the UChicago Medicine News website. Congrats and great work, Tina!

In the spring of 2020,PREP alum Camila Barrios-Camacho (PREP Class of 2014), was awarded the Presidential Award for Civic Life from Tufts University, where she is pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences. Camila received this award for her outstanding achievement in community service and community leadership for her work in co-founding and leading the ongoing professional development and social programs of Tuft’s Scientists Promoting INclusive Excellence (SPINES), which provides a supportive and inclusive community for graduate students. Congratulations Camila!

Skip to toolbar