Jackie's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Doctoral Roadtrip

JACKIE GAMBOA

Ph.D. Chemistry & Producer
The Big Electron Podcast

“[In my research] I am always trying things that don’t work. You learn to fail, embrace it, and then try again the next day.”

INTERESTS:

Science Education

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Doubt Perseverance Determination Hard Work Confidence Passion Hobbies & Pastimes Planning Struggle

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Being Challenged

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was born and raised in Mexico.
  • She is the first person in her family to go to college and feels that this has positively impacted younger members of her family and inspired them to pursue a college education.
  • Prior to starting graduate school, she was chosen to be a roadtripper for Roadtrip Nation Season 10 in 2012—says this experience changed her outlook and provided a support structure for success.
  • Inspired by her experience with Roadtrip Nation, she started a science podcast called The Big Electron, which has led to her getting more involved in leadership and advocacy roles in science.
  • She served as the South Central Regional Chair at the University of Missouri for the National Association for Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS).
  • In the middle of her doctoral studies, she had unexpected health problems, including three surgeries, which almost forced her to sideline her research—a supportive advisor encouraged her to persist.
  • Received her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2017—her research centered around genetics, specifically in the creation of DNA crosslinking agents to study DNA damage in aging and diabetic models.
  • She now works as a postdoctoral fellow at both MIT and Harvard University where she continues her research into DNA damage.

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