Trainee Spotlight: Manuel Fierro

trainee Manuel Fierro

Manuel Fierro is a pre-doctoral trainee in Vasant Muralidharan’s Laboratory. He is originally from Ecuador. His family moved to the US when he was 9 years old, and he has lived in Georgia ever since. Manuel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular Biology from the University of Georgia in 2014. He is a recipient of the Center’s NIH funded T32 Training Grant for Interdisciplinary Parasitology, Vector Biology, and Emerging Diseases.

Manuel’s research focus

Manuel’s project deals with understanding how calcium is regulated in the endoplasmic reticulum of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite┬áthat causes┬ámalaria.

“My undergraduate training was in Dr. Silvia Moreno’s lab studying calcium signaling in Toxoplasma gondii and I wanted to answer the same type of questions in Plasmodium,” said Manuel.

Capstone Experience

Each T32 trainee is provided with the opportunity to complete a capstone experience at the end of their fellowship.

“My home country of Ecuador is approaching elimination of malaria,” said Manuel, “and I would like to work with some of the researchers in the field there who track populations of infected mosquitoes as well as monitor cases of infection in humans.”

T32 Fellowship helps trainee achieve goals

“I truly enjoy working in a lab, but it is not the same as experiencing what diseases are like in the real world,” said Manuel. “This fellowship will help me expand my understanding of malaria by giving me the opportunity to see it in a different setting.”

Manuel is currently considering a career in industry, but he is open to staying in academia.


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