Carlos G. Penaloza
Razran 372 / Tel: (718)997-4609
I was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela. I moved to New York at the age of 17, where I completed high school and earned my Associate degree at Queensborough Community College. I was a Liberal Science major, with concentrations in chemistry, biology, and mathematics. Initially, my plan was to pursue a career in medicine, but exposure to laboratory research showed me that it was there that my heart and passion lay. I got my start working in organic chemistry, but eventually I realized that it was biology research which really fascinated me. In the past I described this revelation as learning to see in color after years of seeing only in black and white. While still finishing my associate degree, I began working in the lab of Dr. Zahra Zakeri, here at Queens College. I transferred to Queens College to complete my B.A. as a biology major, with minors in chemistry and biochemistry.
I completed an M. Phil with Dr. Zakeri, and I am currently pursuing my doctorate in biology at the CUNY Graduate Center, working once again in the Dr.Zakeri’s lab here at Queens. I have been fortunate enough to gain research experience in a number of different labs and to attend many professional scientific conferences to present and discuss my work. I’ve also presented my work in national and international conferences. My dissertation topic is “Mechanisms for sex dimorphic cellular sensitivity”, where I explore the molecular events leading to genetic and behavioral differences between male and female cells under identical conditions.
I think the experience that most prepared me for my role as a writing fellow this year was my struggle when I first arrived in New York. Having little background in English, I spent most of my senior year of high school in English and literature classes in order to bring myself up to speed. This gives me a unique understanding of the struggles that many face when trying to express their thoughts clearly and eloquently on paper. Having been in that position myself and having achieved the level of competence that allows my research to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, I feel honored to be a CUNY Writing Fellow, an opportunity which allows me to help and encourage students facing difficulties similar to the ones with which I had to contend.