Alexandra N. Aquino-Acevedo, BS

Alexandra N. Aquino-Acevedo, BS

Graduate Student
Ponce Health Sciences University
Ponce, Puerto Rico

Abstract 2543. Chronic stress promotes tumor-associated inflammation in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

What are your long-term goals? 

My long-term goal is to ultimately apply my training and skills to novel clinical applications. As an independent researcher, I look forward to studying the crosstalk between cancer and immune cells and how we could exploit these interactions to develop novel therapies for cancer patients. 

Please share information about how the pandemic has impacted your research over the last two years. 

To keep advancing my research project during the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to adapt my goals to tasks that could be accomplished from home. In-person activities supporting my project, such as running or optimizing experiments, were limited. Thus, during this time, I dedicated my efforts to preparing and successfully passing my qualifying exams and continuing my development as a PhD candidate. The restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that all writing and editing processes and attendance to conferences, presentations, training, and courses had to be done virtually. Moreover, these sudden changes certainly impacted the accessibility to institutional resources and equipment necessary for the advancement of my research. Nonetheless, despite these restrictions, I have moved forward with my dissertation project by carefully planning my experiments while following institutional policies. As a result, I continue to work full-time on reaching my training milestones while looking forward to my next step as a Hispanic/Latina researcher.