(March 12, 2014) -- Meet Edgar Sherman. He just completed a competitive four-day research program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Sherman was one of 20 students from across the country, and the only student from Texas, to attend the NIH Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) program in Bethesda, Md. Each year, the program introduces a class of highly qualified minorities to NIH research opportunities in immunology and infectious diseases.
"It was amazing just to be selected -- to have the opportunity to visit the NIH, where I could see myself doing research," said Sherman. "It's really amazing to hear about the kinds of translational research projects that the NIH has going on."
While in Maryland, Sherman toured the NIH facilities. He also sat in on seminars offered by the chiefs of various NIH infectious disease laboratories.
Before leaving Bethesda, the UTSA student interviewed with two NIH laboratory directors for post-baccalaureate placements in their laboratories. One laboratory focuses on bioinformatics; the other studies simian immunodeficiency virus. Both researchers have since invited him to work in their laboratories following his graduation from UTSA.
A transfer student from South West Texas Junior College, Sherman has pursued research opportunities throughout his college career. While a community college student, he secured a placement working alongside Anne Tibbets, Ph.D., at UT Austin, studying how mitochondrial genes interact with chromosomal genes to support respiration in yeast.
The summer, before he started taking classes at UTSA, he studied the role of proteasome and its effects on the longevity of the naked mole rat at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
Since matriculating to UTSA, he has gained additional research experience through the McNair Scholars program, the MBRS-RISE program and the UTSA Honors College.
Studying alongside UTSA Professor Karl Klose, Sherman has researched the effects of Cyclic Di-GMP, a gene involved in Acinetobacter baumanii biofilm formation. The antibiotic-resistant bacterium causes infections in military hospitals.
To date, Sherman has presented his research 10 times at various scholarly gatherings. He also describes his findings in his honors thesis.
The UTSA senior hasn't yet decided whether to pursue an NIH post-baccalaureate research placement or begin a doctoral program focused on microbiology. But, he knows that whichever he chooses, UTSA has prepared him well.
"Being a first-time college student and being an underrepresented minority, UTSA has been a great opportunity for me," said Sherman. "I've gone from someone with little experience to potentially doing research at the NIH or the CDC. That's amazing."
Do you know someone who is thriving at UTSA? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can consider your nomination for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
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