Motivated to become a scientist who discovers new therapeutics

Guillermo_250[M]y formal study of chemistry began during my early years of high school, and from the beginning I enjoyed and excelled within this subject area. Because I was in the first six places in the State Chemistry Olympiad, I had a chance to participate in the National Mexican Chemistry Olympiad. Preparing for the competition provided me not only valuable knowledge and experience, but also the confidence to devote myself to chemistry. My interest in chemistry grew into a true passion when I discovered the extremely noble application of drug discovery and development. With this resolution in mind, I decided to pursue a bachelor`s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Guanajuato.

After two years of undergraduate preparation, I became motivated to begin research. In addition to my coursework in which I maintained a GPA of 9/10, I got involved in multiple research projects to gain a more detailed view of the diverse areas of Chemistry. Prior to completion of my thesis work, I was one of only 25 students in all Mexico selected for the 2011 Latin America Summer Research Program (LASRP), designed to prepare students for graduate research opportunities. In LASRP I had the chance to participate in intensive research at the University of Arizona (UA) under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Hulme. After three months of hard work and dedication, two scientific publications were published from my summer work.

Then, I decided to return to UA to pursue a doctoral degree in Drug Discovery and Development in the same research group. One of the main obstacles to do this was an economical one. Because my mother does not work, and my father is a retired secondary school teacher, they were unable to afford even a few months of my expenses in the United States. I was able to obtain a CONACyT fellowship, however, from the government of Mexico to study by Ph.D. at the UA.

During my graduate studies, I obtained a 4.0 GPA and excelled in research. My study involves the generation of molecular diversity and the development of novel inhibitors of the androgen receptor for the potential treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. My research has led to six scientific publications before the end of my third year.

I struggled with a cultural shock and the initial lack of friends as an international student. I have been able to adapt myself to a new culture and have a social life. Academic challenges have been big during my journey, but my motivation to become a scientist that contributes to the world in the discovery of new therapeutics is bigger. Also, I will have the personal satisfaction to contribute to science. I also will be the first Ph.D. in my whole family.

We are proud to announce Guillermo Martinez-Ariza is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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  • Memo, i’ve known you since 2011, back when you had longer hair and were a part of LASRP. I’m glad to see you have succeeded tremendously at the University of Arizona and i’m looking forward to seeing what you do next. Buena suerte!

  • I was lucky to have Guillermo as my mentor during my own Latin American Summer Research Program experience, thanks to him I was able to participate in a research project designed to be developed during two months, and that project lead to a published paper before my last year as an undergraduate student. An encouraging mentor, an honest person, a future great scientist, that’s what I could tell about Guillermo.

  • Memo, you’re my cousin and I’m very proud of you, I know you will achieve all your goals, love you and good luck! Hope to see you soon!

  • Guillermo is very dedicated to his studies, actually since he was a child. I’m very proud of him for his discoveries to the science with benefit to the human health. Also he is very nice and kind person with good values and high education standards.

  • Awesome! You need to be a motivational speaker. I am happy to know that you were able to conquer culture shock and find friends. I know I could never be as brave. I am sure your family is proud and you have such a bright future ahead. Good luck to you! (Congratulations on your accomplishments!—-A friend of Louisa’s. 🙂

  • Guillermo (Memo) was one of my Advanced English students at University of Guanajuato a few short years ago. Consistency in performance was always present in and out of the classroom, as Memo searched for truth among the details: we always need scientists with Curiosity and follow-through. His senior English presentation is still vivid in my mind. A definite A++++

  • My role at the University of Arizona is to coordinate the LASRP since its first year. I met Guillermo “Memo” when he participated in this program. Memo did a wonderful job in his research but also attending the program activities. During the summer that he participated, Dr. Hulme’s lab was really far from the main campus, every day Guillermo took the road (40 min -1 hr from campus) with an enthusiastic and proactive attitude.

    He is a smart young researcher willing to learn and work hard, but also to mentor other LASRP students from the following generations. Guillermo has the capability to train others and share knowledge; an attitude that is key for the research field to develop networks, new ideas and conclude projects. Guillermo also volunteered in many LASRP activities in a way to enrich our program and share his research and academic experiences.

    I feel really proud about Guillermo and highly recommend him to be distinguished with the LatPro Scholarship.

    Nadia Alvarez Mexía, Ph.D.
    Director of LASRP at the UofA

  • Guillermo is one of the most reliable and responsible people I know, I was fortunate to share a stage of their training, it is definitely a professional and dedicated person. I am sure that you future is full of sure succes.

  • I met Guillermo in 2012 as part of a cohort of Mexican students fully funded by the National Council of Science and technology to pursue doctoral degrees in the University of Arizona. After we met I saw in Guillermo a proudly Chemist devoted to the development of scientific endeavors.

    Very soon Guillermo did voluntary work in the Latin American Summer Research Program (LASRP) where I’m a GRA. Not only did Guillermo participated as a volunteer in the activities for the students but he has mentored young scholars from his very same alma mater in important research projects.

    One of those students worked on a project related to develop a molecule for the treatment of HIV. A problem that has affected mostly the LGBTQ community. Aside from his outstanding achievements in chemistry, Guillermo is an extraordinary human being, understanding and thoughtful regarding regarding human diversity.

    I highly recommend Guillermo (Memo) to be awarded with the LatPro Scholarship.

    Adrián Arroyo, PhD st in Higher Education
    University of Arizona
    GRA, LASRP. Graduate College.

  • Guillermo is one of the most intelligent yet humble people I’ve ever met. He pours his energy and compassion into his work and into the people who have the privilege to call him their co-worker, classmate, research partner, friend, or family. I know that his research efforts and dedication will impact the lives of many more. He is much deserving of this LatPro Scholarship.

  • I shared a pair of years worked in the laboratory with Guillermo and, is a person responsible and never surrendered for get all his goals. I know in a close future he will become a great scientific.

  • Guillermo is my better half and my best friend. We met when I first started school at the University of Arizona and during his first year of the PhD. I knew he was special because he had worked much harder than the average person in order to enter into a PhD. program as an international student coming from a family with few economic resources. However, he is very humble and it took me 2.5 years to fully understand how many difficult steps he had to take to get to where he is today. From our first date to our life together now, his dream of helping people through research has not wavered, and his motivation remains strong. He recognizes how valuable his opportunity to study at the UA is and how much he owes to his family and country for their continual support. His passion, drive and hard work has not ceased since I met him, and his professors continually tell me he is one of the best in his program. I am proud of the wonderful person he is and the achievements he has and will continue to accomplish.

  • I have known Guillermo for the past two and a half years. He is my best friend’s fiance. As a student interested in pursuing a graduate degree in science, Guillermo has been such a positive role model to me. He is very humble, yet confident about his research and academics. He is extremely positive and never allows stress about school to interfere with providing attention to his friends, family, and adorable puppy. Guillermo is a wonderful addition to the University of Arizona community and is most deserving of the LatPro scholarship.

  • Guillermo’s motivation, determination, and work ethic are admirable. He matches his hard work with a great deal of compassion for others. He is a good example of the great young minds that will help make this a better world.
    Paul Patterson, Ph.D.
    Auburn University