Eric was born and raised in the Philippines before spending most of his childhood in his hometown of Upper Marlboro, MD. He attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) for his undergrad and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biological Sciences. In the summer of 2017, Eric conducted research in the lab of Dr. Ellen Sidransky at the National Institutes of Health, melding his love of science with his desire to help others. Working in Dr. Sidransky’s lab, where he interacted with patients battling Gaucher Disease, a rare lysosomal storage disorder, and Parkinson’s Disease, profoundly influenced him. These experiences not only deepened his empathy for patients with these diseases but also significantly shaped his academic interests, igniting a fervent passion for research in genetics and neuroscience. This transformative experience steered Eric towards pursuing a dual degree in medicine and research.
Eric is currently a dual MD-PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program and the Genetics & Genomics Graduate Program at Baylor College of Medicine. His research interests involve delving into the complex relationship between genetic dysregulation and neurodegeneration. Eric’s research is poised to leverage novel tools like CRISPR technology and single-cell techniques to unravel the mysteries of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases. Eric’s goal is to uncover novel neurogenetic mechanisms, aiming to identify therapeutic targets that mitigate neurodegeneration while minimizing side effects. He plans to use model organisms, enhancing our understanding of disease mechanisms and accelerating the translation from lab to clinic. Aspiring to become a future physician-scientist, Eric is focused on merging clinical experiences with his research endeavors. In the laboratory, his research will seek to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative conditions. In clinical settings, he aims to draw insights from patient care to inform his laboratory research. He hopes to use these diverse experiences to help mentor the next generation of physician-scientists and to alleviate the suffering of patients affected by these neurodegenerative diseases.
In his free time, Eric loves to indulge in his various hobbies and interests. He is an avid traveler and hiker, frequently exploring national parks and enjoying their numerous hiking trails. Eric’s personal favorite is hiking in the Appalachian Mountains in the fall. He also finds great joy in cooking and baking dishes from different countries with Japanese and Mediterranean cuisines being his favorite. To unwind, Eric enjoys attending concerts at the Toyota Center and the musical performances of the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
Paige was born and raised in Huntsville, AL, and attended Auburn University where she graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Her interest in biology was sparked when attending a camp in elementary school where she extracted the DNA from a strawberry. She became fascinated with science and pursued several research opportunities before ultimately landing at Baylor College of Medicine.
The first of these was at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, where she spent two summers researching projects ranging from characterizing the differentiation of cells to studying BIN1, a gene highly correlated with Alzheimer’s Disease. From there, she joined a lab at Auburn, where she helped the lab understand how a treatment they developed for GM1 and GM2, two lysosomal storage disorders, functions within model organisms. Paige is now a Ph.D. student in the Genetics and Genomics program at BCM, where she hopes to pursue research focused on the brain.
Outside of the lab, Paige enjoys exercising, cooking, and traveling. She says her mom’s taco soup is her favorite meal to cook and is a hit among friends. Paige especially enjoys international travel, where her favorite destinations have been Copenhagen, Denmark and Paris, France.
Julia Enterria Rosales was born in Mexico City and grew up in Cabo before moving to Guadalajara for high school and college. She discovered her passion for biomedical research when her sister was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and knew she would dedicate her life to improving people’s lives through research. She majored in Biosciences at Tecnologico de Monterrey and fell in love with translational, disease-centered research. She spent two summers in the laboratory of Dr. Carly Filgueira at Houston Methodist where she helped design a hydrogel to deliver nanoparticles to the heart as a treatment for arrythmias. Further, she spent 6 months at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in the laboratory of Drs. Eva Delpon and Ricardo Caballero investigating the role of heart failure drugs on cardiac electrical activity.
Julia joined the Development, Disease Models and Therapeutics (DDMT) Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine in 2023. As a graduate student, she hopes to do groundbreaking research to understand the mechanisms behind human diseases to discover new therapeutic targets and ultimately improve the standard of care.
Outside of research, Julia enjoys spending time with her family and friends and getting to know Houston. She loves sharing culture through food and enjoys cooking for her friends and family. Travel has been a big part of Julia’s life, and although Spain and Mexico are her favorite countries to visit, exploring the U.S. is on her bucket list.
Michal grew up in Brno, Czech Republic and moved to the United States when he was 15. He attended the University of Maryland and graduated with a degree in biochemistry and biology. As a summer intern at the National Institutes of Health, Michal fell in love with research because it is always changing and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. He has since worked in diverse scientific disciplines including organic chemistry, biochemistry, mouse behavior, and genetics. He received high honors for his undergraduate thesis work focused on studying how bacterial cells create biofilms, which help them survive harsh conditions and evade the immune system. His focus turned to rare genetic diseases after seeing the impact that basic bench research could bring to patients and their families. Michal’s interest in this field deepened after he spent a year as a postbaccalaureate trainee following his college graduation.
Michal joined the Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) at Baylor and completed two years of his medical training. He then began Ph.D. training in the Genetics & Genomics Graduate Program. He is interested in rare genetic diseases and what they can tell us about human biology. He hopes to one day integrate his research with a clinical practice to deliver new treatments from the bench to his patients.
Outside of the lab, Michal’s favorite hobby is sailing. He first got into this sport when he raced dinghies in high school and continued through college. Since moving to Houston, he has spent many weekends racing boats on Galveston Bay. His other hobbies include tennis and the game of chess. He is excited to meet everyone in BRASS and join this incredible family.