Upon this great variety of alternative but extremely specific degrees related to life sciences, I decided to study a Bachelor's degree in Biology
to get a broad and multidisciplinary education. After a few elemental courses I made up my mind about studying molecular genetics, applying as an
undergraduate student in the Fungal Genomics and Molecular Biotechnology research group. During two years I assisted at the research related to
light responses, specifically analyzing crgA
(carotenogenesis regulatory gene A
) function as a ubiquitin ligase
and its evolution throughout the eukaryotic lineage. While doing so I became familiar with the biology of this order of basal filamentous fungi,
learning culture techniques and basic molecular tools required for its study.
After this period I began my Master's thesis in connection with a
research project about Mucor
's pathogenesis, which is a causal agent for an infectious disease known as mucormycosis. My research attempted to
link gene silencing via RNA, a fascinating mechanism which among other functions controls gene expression in the fungus, with regulating
virulence factors and thus pathogenesis. This work taught me RNA manipulation and detection techniques with which to study gene expression,
hence allowing me to embark on a PhD thesis to analyze Mucor
gene silencing mechanism role in essential biological processes, such as
vegetative development, sexual interaction and pathogenesis.