Recap of Enrique De La Cruz’s visit to CU on 2/17!

Hello everyone! CU Café and the Molecular Biophysics Training program recently hosted Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, Dr. Enrique De La Cruz. Also, we were privileged to host Dr. Eric Johnson-Chavarria, an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Enrique’s lab and WOW! what a great time we had. Here are a few of the highlights.
The day started with a seminar given by Eric about work he did for his PhD at Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and now under Enrique’s mentoring. Eric brought enthusiasm and knowledge to the room as he explained microfluidics and future implications of this technique in a talk titled: “Automated microfluidics for measuring single bacteria gene expression and actin cytoskeleton force dependence”. Following his talk, Eric talked about his current outreach efforts toward school-age children in which he hopes to instill a passion and curiosity for the sciences through the use of 3D printing technology.
Enrique gave a superb and inspiring career talk titled: “Was I supposed to make it here?” It was here that students and faculty got to know Enrique and hear about his journey to being a professor and scientist. Enrique kept it real, honest and unfiltered, as he explained how to make it in the science/academia game. His advice: succeed and don’t commit too far into the future. That is, don’t make a career decision until you have to. Enrique encouraged students to keep pushing forward and to not lose hope in their career endeavors. He brought it home by discussing frustrations and set-backs he had faced during his career journey, which allowed listeners to know that they are not alone.
Enrique’s engaging lay talk was a precursor to the warm and collaborative approach to his formal seminar titled: “How cells use chemistry and physics to break the bones that power their movement”. Enrique’s seminar proved to not only be engaging and informational; but was interdisciplinary and fun, with Enrique poking fun of and referencing the relevance (and sometimes irrelevance) of all scientific fields and using props to explain complex theories for everyone to understand. Enrique’s work is complex and dynamic, just like him! We would like to thank Enrique and Eric for coming to CU and inspiring young scientists to stay the course, to laugh and have some fun, and to sometimes think and remember why you started that journey in the first place. For more information on Enrique, check out the video below.


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