“A mentor is a person of trust that gives you advice, direction and options. Your mentor is not a person that will tell you what to do, but help you to make your own decisions. .” – Dr. Tere Padilla Benavides
SACNAS congratulates Dr. Tere Padilla-Benavides on being awarded SACNAS Outstanding Research and Professional Mentor!
Dr. Padilla-Benavides has been involved with SACNAS since 2014 when she attended her first SACNAS conference and signed up to be a Mentor Judge for student research presentations.
“Becoming a mentor for underrepresented minorities has changed my life, as this activity allows me to create a welcoming environment for everyone, and help them believe that it is possible to follow their dreams and be successful in any profession they choose,” said Dr. Padilla-Benavides of her experience.
She obtained her doctoral degree from Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico City where she studied epithelial cells and membrane proteins. In 2010, she was invited to conduct a postdoctoral stay at Dr. Argüello’s Lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where she focused on the mechanisms of transition metal transports across cell membranes.
“Tere was my first mentor in graduate school,” said Sarju Patel, one of Dr. Padilla-Benavides’ mentees at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. “She has not only trained me but inspired me to pursue my scientific career.”
Increasingly interested in understanding the role of transition metals during mammalian development and differentiation, Dr. Padilla-Benavides moved to Dr. Imbalzano’s Lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in 2014. There she would further expand her knowledge of eukaryotic differentiation systems. Just two years later she was appointed as an Instructor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at UMMS.
“As an instructor, she initiated and organized the student SACNAS chapter at University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), and has rapidly increased our chapter memberships due to her never-ending efforts to promote diversity in science.” said Daniel Hidalgo, a 3rd year graduate student at UMMS.
“We have organized diverse seminars and workshops on campus related to the importance of minorities in science, awareness of implicit bias, scientific talks, as well are currently planning the 2018 New England Regional meeting” said Dr. Padilla-Benavides of her chapter which was recently awarded the UMMS Public Service grant for 2017-2018. “We hope to attract students from the entire region, but also to increase the participation of students from diverse background from Central Mass.”
To top it all of, Dr. Padilla-Benavides recently received the prestigious Faculty Diversity Scholars Program Award from UMMS and transferred to the Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Department. Her independent research program is focused on understanding the role that transition/heavy metals in the context of cell differentiation, development and disease, allowing her to often collaborate with several expert scientists in the fields of metal biology, differentiation, development and disease, not only in the United States, but also internationally.
Clearly an accomplished scientist and valued mentor by all those who meet her, SACNAS is proud to recognize Dr. Tere Padilla-Benavides as a SACNAS Outstanding Mentor.
If you are interested in nominating your mentor for a SACNAS award, click here to learn more.