Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA alum Rudy Jimenez, SACNAS keynote panelist

Rudy Jimenez

UTSA alumnus Rudy Jimenez

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(Sept. 25, 2013) -- Meet Rudy Jimenez. The 29-year-old researched the anthrax toxin while earning his doctoral degree in cell and molecular biology at UTSA.

In July, he was selected to be a keynote panelist for the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/Hispanic Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) 40th Anniversary Conference. The conference, to be held Oct. 3-6 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, is expected to have an attendance of more than 4,200 and an economic impact of $3.8 million.

Since joining SACNAS in 2007, Jimenez has served as a SACNAS Student Board member, attended five national conferences and spoken with government officials about the importance of having more students pursue STEM-related careers.

The path to success was not an easy one for the Edinburg native. He worked hard to excel in the classroom, taking an interest in math and science and participating in numerous science fairs and science summer camps. Additionally, Jimenez was a star athlete in high school, competing in football and track and field.

Jimenez had a chance to walk on and run track in college, but his life path changed when he was diagnosed with hypocardiomyopathy, a medical condition involving a severely enlarged heart. With his athletic hopes dashed, Jimenez refocused his efforts and pursued a career in scientific research.

Currently, Jimenez works at UT Austin as a STEM coordinator. In the future, the UTSA graduate plans to continue his new career path in STEM outreach and student assistance, and possibly get involved with the implementation of scientific biotechnology policy at the state level.

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