Say hello to Eric M. Rodríguez-López (He/him)! Eric is originally from Puerto Rico and currently a PhD student in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania in the USA!
What kind of scientist are you?
I’m an Immunology PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m looking forward to working with host-pathogen interactions and innate immunity.
What made you want to become a scientist?
Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed reading and learning new things, yet, I didn’t know what to make of this love. My Genetics professor inspired me to pursue a career in research and I haven’t looked back since. I enjoy being part of the scientific community that seeks to contribute to the world of knowledge.
“Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed reading and learning new things, yet, I didn’t know what to make of this love”Eric M. Rodríguez-López
What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I’m a Hispanic, gay, first-generation PhD student. My undergrad institution did not have the same rich research resources as most schools in the USA. However, I was still able to develop myself into the scientist I am today.
What’s something cool you do outside of work?
I love to sing! I was a baritone in the University of Puerto Rico at Ponce Concert Choir. I enjoy singing opera, even though most people might find it boring.
If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I wish for science to be accessible to anyone who really wishes to be a part of it. It’s a beautiful community and anyone who wants to be a part of it, should be a part of it, no matter their background or experiences.
“They saw potential in me and invested their time to help me become better each day.”Eric M. Rodríguez-López
Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
The two people that have inspired me the most to get to where I am today are Dr. Edu Suárez and Dr. Arnaldo Díaz. They saw potential in me and invested their time to help me become better each day. Thanks to them, I am where I am today.
Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
had a videoconference with the Biological Honor Society in my alma mater, UPR Ponce. I shared my story on how I got to a PhD program and offered guidance on how to apply to summer research programs and grad school! <3
Fun fact: Eric is from the same town as Efra, the founder of #UniqueScientists!