“Try a bunch of stuff, and see which avenue you like the best.“
Priscilla San Juan is a PhD candidate in Tad Fukami’s lab in the Biology Department at Stanford University. Priscilla is interested in the gut microbiome of wildlife and the impact that human activity is having on those microbial communities and the health of the animal host. She has had an appreciation of nature since she was young, but was unsure what career she should pursue since her interests were so varied. She explored the different topics and opportunities available at her community college and soon realized how fascinated she was with environmental science, the specialty she eventually pursued at UC Irvine. She has continued to explore the different facets of biology, from antibiotic resistance in environmental microbes to her current work in New Zealand where she is exploring the effects of captivity on the native kiwi’s microbiome and health.
Some of things we talk about in this episode include the value of testing out different types of research so that you can find something that you really like, and the huge impact that having a support network of peers and mentors can have on battling feelings of imposter syndrome that underrepresented minorities in STEM may feel.