Nome: Maria Helena Mendes Soares
What brought you to the USA?
I started my graduate studies with Greg Velicer in Germany. He got a faculty position at IU and the whole group came with him.
In what are you currently working on?
Currently I am looking at G x E interactions on the predatory behavior of the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus and working on theoretical models to explain the maintenance of phenotypic plasticity by epistatic interactions between particular genes and their regulators.
What conditions do you have here that you do not have in Portugal?
Graduate school is very different from the PhD programs in Portugal. Sure you are forced to take classes, but that will allow you to interact not only with other graduate students but also with professors with different views of the world. This helps graduate students develop critical thinking about their research.
What are your future plans?
After graduating Ill go on to a post-doc (like most people). After that I hope to be able to teach in a small college and have undergraduate students do fundamental research projects.
Why did you join PAPS?
It is not easy to find Portuguese people in Indiana. PAPS allows me to network with Portuguese with interests and career paths similar to mine.
|Favourite source of news from Portugal:||diario.iol.pt (Portugal Diario)|
|Daily life (weekdays):||Wake up sometime before 9 am. Go to the office/lab. Around 12.00 I go for lunch with grad students from other labs. I go back to the lab after lunch. How long I stay depends on the weather. If the weather is nice I leave at around 4 and then come back after lunch and stay until around 11 pm. If the weather is not nice I stay until 7 or 8 pm.|
|Daily life (weekends):||Pretty much the same thing as the weekdays except during some months I take a few hours on Sunday afternoon to play softball.|
|Other interests:||I like travelling, playing music and lately, going to the gym.|