Meet a Roadrunner: Edgar Sherman is training for biomedical research career

Edgar Sherman

Edgar Sherman

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(March 12, 2014) -- Meet Edgar Sherman. He just completed a competitive four-day research program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Sherman was one of 20 students from across the country, and the only student from Texas, to attend the NIH Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) program in Bethesda, Md. Each year, the program introduces a class of highly qualified minorities to NIH research opportunities in immunology and infectious diseases.

"It was amazing just to be selected -- to have the opportunity to visit the NIH, where I could see myself doing research," said Sherman. "It's really amazing to hear about the kinds of translational research projects that the NIH has going on."

While in Maryland, Sherman toured the NIH facilities. He also sat in on seminars offered by the chiefs of various NIH infectious disease laboratories.

Before leaving Bethesda, the UTSA student interviewed with two NIH laboratory directors for post-baccalaureate placements in their laboratories. One laboratory focuses on bioinformatics; the other studies simian immunodeficiency virus. Both researchers have since invited him to work in their laboratories following his graduation from UTSA.

A transfer student from South West Texas Junior College, Sherman has pursued research opportunities throughout his college career. While a community college student, he secured a placement working alongside Anne Tibbets, Ph.D., at UT Austin, studying how mitochondrial genes interact with chromosomal genes to support respiration in yeast.

The summer, before he started taking classes at UTSA, he studied the role of proteasome and its effects on the longevity of the naked mole rat at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

Since matriculating to UTSA, he has gained additional research experience through the McNair Scholars program, the MBRS-RISE program and the UTSA Honors College.

Studying alongside UTSA Professor Karl Klose, Sherman has researched the effects of Cyclic Di-GMP, a gene involved in Acinetobacter baumanii biofilm formation. The antibiotic-resistant bacterium causes infections in military hospitals.

To date, Sherman has presented his research 10 times at various scholarly gatherings. He also describes his findings in his honors thesis.

The UTSA senior hasn't yet decided whether to pursue an NIH post-baccalaureate research placement or begin a doctoral program focused on microbiology. But, he knows that whichever he chooses, UTSA has prepared him well.

"Being a first-time college student and being an underrepresented minority, UTSA has been a great opportunity for me," said Sherman. "I've gone from someone with little experience to potentially doing research at the NIH or the CDC. That's amazing."

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