Maria Catalina Mendez Ortega
St.Vincent?s Centre for Applied Medical Research
I was born in Bogota, Colombia, in the year 1981. Since a very young age I wanted to be a scientist. Not knowing exactly how to get there, by 1999 I started a bachelor degree in Microbiology with emphasis in Molecular biology at the University of Los Andes. By 2005, I was absolutely sure that HIV research was my field. With this aim, by mid 2008 I started a Master Degree in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Molecular Microbiology and developed my thesis at the National Institute of Health of Colombia in the design of effective shRNAs to target HIV. Currently, I’m in first year of the PhD in Medicine in the University of New South Wales, Australia, developing my thesis project at the St. Vincent’s Centre of Applied Medical Research in the HIV Immunovirology and Pathogenesis group in a project that studies siRNA induced latency in HIV infected cells.