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2016 Predoctoral Researchers


Alejandro (Alex) Rodríguez Gama

National Autonomous University of Mexico
Halfmann Lab

Complexity of cellular processes and molecular structures fascinate Alejandro Rodríguez Gama, a native of southern Mexico’s Guerrero state. His interests range from cellular biology and biochemistry to synthetic biology and proteomics.

Rodríguez Gama earned a B.S. in basic biomedical research from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2016. He chose that program because it allowed students to be involved in a research lab from day one. Then, a summer internship in the lab of Angela Zivkovic, Ph.D., at the University of California-Davis introduced him to proteomics. There he learned to perform lipoprotein extraction and analyze the proteomics data of lipoproteins. As he says, he became “captivated by the incredible amount of data proteomics provides.”

Another experience shaped his scientific education — his participation in his college’s team effort in the 2015 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

Rodríguez Gama led his team’s experiments as they created a bacterial glucose sensor that would respond to glucose concentrations during insulin production. Using E. coli bacteria, the team assembled and characterized the chimeric glucose sensor and insulin production in two new E. coli strains. Their work won a silver medal at the iGEM competition.

Rodríguez Gama was sold on coming to the Stowers Institute after his conversations about regeneration and evolution with Investigator Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado and prions and protein folding with Assistant Investigator Randal Halfmann during his interview at Stowers. He looks forward to learning more from “incredible conversations.”

When he isn’t in the lab, Rodríguez Gama likes to run and to read biographies of biological researchers to learn about their contributions to scientific understanding.