Blanca Gutierrez-Diaz

I am a third year PhD student in the Driskill Graduate Program (DGP). I work in the Ntziachristos Lab that belongs the Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Department and the Hematology and Oncology Department at downtown campus.My work focuses on how post-translational modifications, especially ubiquitination and deubiquitination, affects cancer progression and response to chemotherapy in T-cellacute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients. Recently we published a paper in Clinical Cancer Research describing the important role of a deubiquitinase called USP7 on stabilizing NOTCH1, one of the main proteins involved in T-ALL pathogenesis. This year I also successfully passed my qualifying exams and got approved my thesis proposal, so for this year I am looking forward to keep working on my first author paper.I was born and raised in Mexico and I am the first person in my family to pursue a PhD.As a Fulbright scholar one of my biggest dreams is to become a top Hematology-Oncology researcher that can foster beneficial US-Mexico collaborations.As a part of a minority group in Science (Latino woman) I found appealing the idea of STEM Circuits. I see these groups as an opportunity to get to know better the scientific community in our university, to learn from the experience of more senior members and hopefully inspire other people to stay strong and pursue their goals.

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