After graduating from college in her native Puerto Rico with a double major in biology and industrial microbiology, Griselle Martinez chose to pursue her Master of Science in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS IDGH) at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, because she wanted to learn about zoonotic diseases on a veterinary campus that integrated comparative medicine with the study of infectious diseases.
“I liked that the program focused on zoonoses and was part of Cummings School, which meant that there would be a lot of resources for me to explore,” she says. “The courses that were offered were very diverse, and the faculty also had a broad area of research studies that go from bacteria to parasites that were interesting to me.”
The animal models course, as well as extensive lab research, provided Griselle with that hands-on experience she had been seeking, as well as the ability to apply everything she had learned throughout the yearlong program.
“During this [animal models] course you apply everything that you have learned throughout the program. It gives you a sense of how it would be to work in a research environment that works with animals, and it also prepares you for the responsibility that you would have if you were to work with them,” she says.
Now, as a research associate at an academic health center, Griselle’s work involves RNA extraction, RNA silencing, cell culturing and animal models—techniques that she credits the MS IDGH program for helping her improve upon. “The program has very diversified courses that go from the typical microbiology class, to the animal models course, and the good laboratory practices (GLP) course. Having been able to participate in courses like this, I learned about immunology, parasitology, animal handling, lab management, scientific writing, and many laboratory techniques,” says Griselle. “Currently, I’m in the research field, and being in the MS IDGH program gave me the experience necessary to excel in my position.”