School: University of Illinois
Degree: Food Science and Human Nutrition
- School/University and current year entering the 2018 semester
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4th year PhD student
- Academic advisor(s):
Dr. Elvira de Mejia
- Degree/Major/Research focus:
PhD in Food Science and Human Nutrition; Research focus: Inhibitory potential of anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich plant extracts on colorectal cancer progression (more generally: diet and cancer)
- How did you choose your area of study?
Since a young age, I’ve been greatly interested in food and nutrition and especially in fruits and vegetables. My father’s diagnosis of colorectal cancer in 2015 ignited my passion to study diet and cancer. He passed away in November 2016, which has been my primary motivation to continue researching in hopes of helping those suffering with this disease. I genuinely believe in the power of plants and am determined to further the understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which plant foods can exert their positive effects.
- How has this scholarship helped you?
This scholarship will provide me with the funding necessary to finish the last year of my PhD. It will assist me with school fees and living expenses during the 2018-2019 school year. It will also help in travel expenses for scientific conferences which have been very beneficial to my growth as a graduate student.
- What is your favorite class this semester and why?
My favorite class this past semester was Food Toxicology. We went through current topics as well as historical incidences that have affected the food industry and health of consumers. It made me more aware of potential food toxins, and I feel more informed and capable of differentiating between real concerns and irrational fears.