In these dark times, I am grateful to share that I'll join @UFBME as an Assistant Professor in Aug 2021. My team will engineer in vitro disease models to study host-microbe interactions in the context of microbiomes & tropical infectious diseases. #MicrobeMonday #GoGators 🐊 1/n
I arrived in the US ~14 years ago & almost right away, I knew I wanted to be a professor. This dream has been in the making for a long time and it feels surreal that in only 3 semesters I'll be leading my own lab. It took a village to get me here! #FuturePI #ImmigrantAcademic 2/n
I've had incredible mentors. In the Spring of 2008, a @UTWEP ugrad research program paired me up with @lab_schmidt. For 12 years, @CESchmidt_UF has been a wonderful mentor. It's extra special to know that my first advisor will now also be my first Chair ❤️ #GoGators #HookEm 3/n
Then there's the best PhD advisor I could have asked for, Prof. Kristyn Masters @UWMadison_BME. Kristyn ALWAYS believes in me more than I do in myself. Last summer, she very forcefully told me I HAD to go on the market this year and WOW was she right... #OnWisconsin 4/n
My current advisor, Prof. @ilanabrito123 took a chance on hiring me when I knew NOTHING about microbiome or basic microbiology. I'm grateful to Ilana for bringing me to @CornellBME, where I've been able to grow so much as a researcher and science communicator #Cornellian 5/n
There are a LOT of other unofficial mentors. A few on Twitter include @KrishRoyLab, @coledeforest, @kellystevenslab, @BillMurphyUW, @PamKreeger, @Dr_ASingh, @ProfCJHernandez, @Cherie_Stabler, @CRinaldi_UF, @SmartBiomat, @mholla_back. Thank you! 6/n
I would have never made it without my outstanding labmates over the years. I'm particularly grateful to the talented undergraduate students I've had the privilege of mentoring. I'm proud to have spent so many years next to such wonderful people 👨‍🔬👩‍🔬 7/n
Speaking of incredible scientists... I also have incredible colleagues. Grad school is really hard but some of the best years of my life I owe to the amazing biomedical engineers @UWMadison_BME that I got to share my journey with. 8/n
As an #immigrant, friends are the family you choose. Whether in Austin, Madison or Ithaca, friends helped me get through challenges and celebrate successes. They also taught me a LOT about contributing to my country from abroad #OnWisconsin #Cornellians #HookEm #LatinXinSTEM 9/n
The last 3 years, I also leaned into a variety of programs beginning with #NextGenProfessor from @CornellOISE and @CUFutureFaculty. This program gave me the structure to prep for the job search and the opportunity to meet wonderful people like @clairemeaders and @susanjcheng 10/n
Last Spring I also joined the Building Future Faculty program #BFF2019 at @NCState. Can't say enough wonderful things about the quality of this program and the opportunity to connect with other minoritized trainees across fields and inspiring mentors like @DrGrantEmpowers 11/n
My favorite experience last year was attending @sacnas for the 1st time, particularly because I got to be a part of the very first Postdoc Leadership Institute #SACNASPLI. I left with the last push I needed for faculty interviews and lifelong friends #sacnista 12/n
It takes ~9 months to find a faculty job and through it all my @LatinXinBME fam had my back. I began writing my apps in our virtual writing club, faculty gave advice for interviewing and negotiating, commiserated w/ other postdocs on the market and everyone was SO supportive 13/n
A special shout out to @BrianAguado. We went through this process together. For parts of it we were on the phone every day! Can't wait to see where Brian ends up! This pic Brian took of the exact moment when I submitted the signed offer makes me 🤣 #dramatic #LatinXinBME 14/n
Most of all, I couldn't have made it without my family. Most of all my parents, who enrolled my sister and I in a bilingual K-12 school at great cost AND who invested a LOT of $$ on my out-of-sate tuition @UTAustin. I'm so proud to follow their footsteps as an engr prof 15/n
I have a REALLY big family and I am most excited that once I'm in Florida, I'll be much closer and able to go home more often so that we don't have to do these virtual meetings much longer. Their unconditional love always refuels and sustains me. 16/n
I've heard some women say they struggle to form female friendships. That has never been my experience. I've been friends w/ some of these girls since I was 4 years old. When everything changes in life, they're one of the few things that remain constant ❤️ #WomenHelpingWomen 17/n
Now that this process is over, my top advice for #FuturePIs is to get help! As much help as you can from as many people as you can ( @FuturePI_Slack is awesome). I was so lucky that @kaitlin_fogg and @LizWaynePhD gave lots of their time to share their very recent experiences. 18/n
Also, for me, it was REALLY important to stay in touch with other people on the market. It helped to share my frustrations and feel like I had a little more info/control. Plus, I made new friends like @BLT_BME and @DrRituRaman! 19/n
You also need help with your #MentalHealth. In February 2019, I started going to therapy bc I had REALLY bad #anxiety related specifically to landing a faculty job. My therapist, the incredible Marta from @CornellHealth (FASP program) gave me the tools I needed to manage it 20/n
My lab will engineer in vitro models of disease to study host-microbe interactions in the context of the gut microbiome and tropical infectious diseases. I want us to explore creative ways to apply traditional BME fields (like biomaterials) to study #GlobalHealth issues 21/n
I will continue to be involved in #SciComm and #SciArt to engage with the public at @UF. I am particularly THRILLED to find strategies to engage with the almost 4 million Floridians that speak Spanish at home (~20% of the population of the state). #ComunicaCiencia 22/n
To summarize, I feel very privileged to be celebrating such wonderful news when we're all facing such a devastating crisis of global proportions. I am excited to join the incredible team @UFBME, to train students, and to be much closer to home. I can't wait to begin! 🐊23/end
You can follow @AnaMaPorras.
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