Sunday, January 21, 2018

Late UTSA doctoral student to receive posthumous degree

Late UTSA doctoral student to receive posthumous degree

(Nov. 3, 2017) -- A University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) doctoral student who drowned earlier this semester will be honored with a posthumous degree from UTSA. Dr. Maria Lockwood ’08, ’11 was a student in the cell and molecular biology doctoral program in the UTSA College of Sciences Department of Biology. She was also a member of the UTSA Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) research training program. 

Lockwood began her education at the Universidad de los Andes in Venezuela, where she earned a medical doctorate and practiced medicine.

When she arrived in the United States, she chose to go back to school at UTSA, first completing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in May 2008 and a master’s degree in biology in August 2011. 

This semester, she was nearing completion of her doctorate, working with her research mentor Garry Sunter, chair of the UTSA Department of Biology, on a project titled, “Inactivation of SnRK1 by Geminiviruses multifunctional proteins AC2/C2 play an important role in the regulation of Plant Innate Immune Responses.”

Sunter will present Lockwood’s research at 12 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 in the Cell and Molecular Biology Seminar Series in the Biosciences Building Loeffler Room (BSB 3.03.02), followed by a small reception and the posthumous awarding of her doctorate. 

The Maria Lockwood Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to support UTSA biology doctoral students in their efforts to present their research projects at local, state and national conferences. Contributions can be made by check or money order payable to “UTSA” (indicate in the memo section “Maria Lockwood Memorial Scholarship Fund”) and directed to Jacob Sanchez, assistant director of fiscal administration, at the UTSA Department of Biology in the Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building (BSE 1.600).

Lockwood, 49, was reported missing from the Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi on Sept. 16. Kenedy County officials later determined that she died from an accidental drowning.