Adriana C. Hernandez-Morales is finishing her PhD in the Center for Phage Technology under the mentorship of Drs. Ry Young and Jason Gill. She studies the mechanisms by which phages (bacterial viruses) infect antibiotic-resistant bacteria that form biofilm. She also characterizes phages for therapeutic use, and evaluates their efficacy. Her work, involving the use of phages in a successful clinical intervention, has been featured in the Huffington Post, The San Diego Tribune, and The Washington Post. In addition to 1st place awards in Student Research Week and the departmental research competition in 2018, Adriana is the inaugural recipient of the Tom Patterson Graduate Fellowship in Phage Research, awarded in 2019 by the directors of the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH). Adriana has served as an officer in the Biochemistry Graduate Association (BGA), represented the BGA on committees in the Graduate and Professional Student Council, and organized both the student seminar and the career development seminar series, highlighting alternative options for early career scientists.
Beyond her research, Adriana wants to empower children and boost their curiosity through science education and art. She developed a summer workshop for teens from low-income communities in Colombia as a part of Clubes de Ciencia, an educational program that expands access to STEM education for youth in Latin America. She regularly engages in science outreach through Skype a Scientist (a platform that connects scientists, K-12 teachers and kids through Skype) and participates in outreach events with the BGA. Adriana enjoys dancing, meditation, nail art, and crafting. She also loves experiencing new cultures, and spending time with friends and family. After graduation, Adriana plans on continuing to work in translational phage research, contributing to make phage therapy available for all. She also wants to participate in designing strategies to make STEM education accessible for all, creating collaborative environments where scientists and communities interact, fostering communication and creativity.