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Brian Aguilera

Affiliations and Roles

Graduate Mentor, PhD Student, Genetics, Genomics and Development

Graduate Mentor

Research Interests: My research is based on understanding the process in which the little protrusions found in our intestines called villi, are formed. Specifically, I am studying the role of a transcription factor called Pitx2 in this process. More broadly, I am very interested in genetic diseases and possible treatments using genetic engineering and stem cell therapies.

About Me: I was born in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia and moved to the US along with my family when I was 17 years old. My parents now live in Deerfield Beach, Florida, which is where I spend my breaks and escape the cold New England winters. I did my undergrad in the University of Connecticut where I majored in Molecular and Cell Biology and was the first Latino to graduate as a University Scholar, the highest distinction awarded by UConn. During my undergrad, I was very involved in both the Latin American and LGBT resource centers where I helped to plan events and coordinate a mentoring program for underrepresented minorities in higher education. I also founded a club called The Queer Collective, where we offered safe spaces for queer folx to come together and socialize. Currently, I am a second year PhD student studying intestinal development. In the future, I plan on attending medical school and become a physician scientist focusing on genetic conditions and possible treatments for these diseases. In my free time I like to play the piano, knit/crochet, garden and tend to the many plants in my house, watch medical shows and comedies, and hang out with my cat, Margaret.