November 9, 2021 – 19:30
From Boston, United States, Agustina Macció. spoke with El Tribuno. After having obtained different awards and scholarships, he trained in computational biology and participated in the dissertation “United for Science”.
“Unidos por la Ciencia” is an event organized by the Nobel Prize winners that brought together undergraduate and graduate students from Latin America and the Caribbean and laureates in the “prize” days ago. It will be published next Tuesday on the Nobel page and the Argentine representative is nothing less than a Salta, the biologist Agustina Macció.
From Boston, United States, the professional spoke with The Tribune. Despite being 28 years old, he has extensive experience and after having obtained different awards and scholarships, he is trained in computational biology. His commitment is to return in time to Argentina to practice his profession and what he learned.
“I did my secondary studies at the Belgrano school and I studied biology at the National University of Tucumán, at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Miguel Lillo Institute. I did my undergraduate studies with responsibility, I won many awards, such as academic excellence, to the merit of the study and I obtained a Fulbright scholarship for undergraduate students to do an exchange “.
Agstina Macció in Arkansas with the Friends of Fulbright scholarship, 2017.
He went to the center of the United States: “I came to Arkansas with other Argentines in 2017, it was a beautiful experience. We lived at the University, we had social activities. When I graduated I won the gold medal award as the best graduate of my litter.”
Macció did different internships in prestigious research organizations such as Conicet and Cerela (Reference Center for lactobacilli), also at the Faculty of Agronomy in the LACALAC laboratory. “I did studies with probiotic bacteria that generate health benefits for humans through the food we eat,” he explained.
“During my undergraduate studies I was a teaching assistant in Molecular Biology of Microorganisms, I was an assistant laboratory professor for two years. I also had a lot of social activity, with university volunteers in which we worked for some social cause. Our case was to take science to rural schools and we went twice a month to different schools. We took microscopes, we gave classes with the coordination of professors from the National University of Tucumán “.
And he added that “in my first scholarship I was in contact with the United States embassy and they recruited me for a program where I was a mentor for high school boys to discover the profession. I advised them to prepare to apply for scholarships abroad and all that kind of thing. of knowledge “.
The young woman from Salta at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Your arrival in Boston
Once her scholarship in Kansas ended, Agustina returned to the country and a few months later another proposal came up to return to the United States. His resume was key. “I just started working, I applied for the scholarship in January 2020 and the results came out in September. They take a long time to select the scholarship holders, they evaluate us in many aspects not only academically, but also socially and It is a comprehensive analysis of what they do to us. I believe that everything I did before led me to win the scholarship. Once they tell you that you won, another big process begins which is to apply to universities in the United States, it takes a lot of time and commitment. “. This is how he got to the University where he is doing his master’s degree: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Boston area.
“The Fulbright scholarship, sponsored by the National Ministry of Education, what it does is that it sends you to study in the United States and they pay you, but once it ends, I return to the country. I have signed a return commitment contract to Argentina and it is doubly meritorious “.
Macció decided to focus on technology and explained the reason for the resounding change he had: “In Boston I am doing a master’s degree in computational biology of data science. What motivated me to change direction in my professional career is that I really like technology that today is transversal to all disciplines and a huge amount of data is generated. A very clear example is genomics, where you can analyze the DNA of all people and obtain all the information that is gigantic. “
“We need people who can analyze that data and there we do need the interaction of computers and humans. What I am doing is learning to analyze the data with computer tools, I love computer science and I learn from everything.”
The Nobel Prize event
Finally, about his participation in the event “United for Science” of the Nobel Prize winners. “It was a surprise for me because I received an e-mail from an Inter-American Institution of Science in Latin America in particular. They told me that I was selected to represent Argentina in the area of medicine and to participate in this event”,
“This event has already taken place and will be published on November 16. The idea was to bring together young researchers, promises, from different countries of Latin America to talk with a winner of the Nobel Prizes, about the challenges and opportunities that Latin America has in science, the shortcomings that we see and know about each one’s research. “
“We talk for 90 minutes and these talks are carried out by zoom because of the pandemic. Mine was with Dr. May-Britt Moser from Norway, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2014.”
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A biologist from Salta represents the country at the Nobel Prize event