Campus and Community

Adjunct Wins Award at New England Science Symposium

In a letter to various Department of Natural Sciences faculty announcing that he had won a prestigious award for research posters, UHD alum and adjunct Mesias Pedroza said, “I still use the tricks that you all taught me for presentations.” And it seems to have paid off!

On March 2, Pedroza received the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Postdoctoral Award, which recognizes postdoctoral participants who create outstanding scientific posters, during the New England Science Symposium at Harvard Medical School. Pedroza, who graduated from UHD in 2007 with a bachelor’s in biotechnology and UT Health Science Center in 2011 with a doctorate in biochemistry, is currently a postdoctoral scholar at Baylor College of Medicine. His research focuses on pulmonary fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs, which has no cure aside from lung transplantation.

According to Pedroza, current treatment for pulmonary fibrosis only addresses inflammation of the lungs, rather than the scar tissue. He’s working to find a better alternative by studying how fibrosis is caused and understanding the disease’s development timeline. He called the experience of presenting at the NESS awesome and credited UHD Natural Sciences’ faculty with helping him feel prepared for the presentation.

“My experience at UHD has helped me a great deal,” he said. “Many of the faculty have given me tips on being concise during presentations and making sure my research, which can be complex, is easily understood by others.”

When he’s not conducting research at Baylor or presenting award-winning posters, Pedroza is also an adjunct at UHD, leading a biochemistry lab.

“I enjoy working with the students; it’s a very dynamic interaction,” he said. “The more hands-on experience I can provide for them, the more excited they become about research and the possibilities research has to offer the world.”

The New England Science Symposium, established in 2002, provides a forum for  postdoctoral fellows; medical, dental and graduate students; post-baccalaureates; college and community college students to share their biomedical and health-related research activities through oral or poster presentations, to engage in discussions related to career development in the sciences, to exchange ideas and to expand their professional networks.

Mesias Pedroza, left, is an alum and adjunct in the Department of Natural Sciences, He recently received an award for his research of pulmonary fibrosis.

Mesias Pedroza, left, is an alum and adjunct in the Department of Natural Sciences. He recently received an award for his research of pulmonary fibrosis.