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Lab Life Video Series: Ortiz Gonzalez Lab

Published on · Last Updated 2 months ago


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Xilma R. Ortiz-Gonzalez, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Neurology and Pediatrics:

As long as we have, you know, aspects of science, we're seeing more people that look like what the society looks like so kids can grow up and say, oh you know, maybe what a doctor looks like could be a woman and could be a brown woman and that's normal and that's OK. As opposed to you never see yourself as a grown up in positions like this.


"Hola, soy la doctora Xilma Ortiz-González, soy una neuróloga pediátrica en el hospital pediátrico de Philadelphia y hoy estámos aquí para contarle un poquito de lo que hacemos en mi laboratorio."

And my clinical specialty is in pediatric neurogenetics, and our lab is interested in understanding mechanisms of pediatric neuroregeneration.


I think we're a fun bunch. I think we're doing some cool science. We are a very translational lab in the sense that we do our work in human based cell models, so mostly patient derived models. So, what we're trying to understand is for these very rare diseases that we're now better able to diagnose, you know, with better genetic testing and more access to genetic testing.


But there's still very little understanding of what happens at the cell level when you're missing this protein or when this gene is disrupted. And without that, you're not going to get or it’s very hard to get to better treatments.


Dhyanam Shukla, Rotational graduate student:
I picked this lab to rotate in because I think first of all, I've heard good things about the lab itself, but I also was very interested in the research that they're doing, especially because it's pretty unique. I am very interested in studying developmental disorders. And so the fact that, you know, this entire lab is focused on that has been really interesting for me.


Leonardo Ramos Rodriguez, BS, 4th Year PhD Candidate:
The lab is pretty diverse, specifically in the people, their backgrounds, where we come from, all of us. We have really good differences that we often use to work, and I would say our research is also pretty diverse.


This lab is very good at just focusing on your interest because since we have a lot of diseases that not a lot of people study, there's a lot of space for us to really be creative and look at certain diseases that might not be that well-studied from different perspectives.


Miosotis Alicea-Delagdo, BS, PhD Candidate:
We are from different countries. Besides sharing the passion for science, we share all different cultures. So I think it is a very unique lab. Being far away from home, always speaking English, just finding this lab that most of the people speak Spanish, I felt like I was at home. So that's another like, plus here.


The most fun is probably lunch. I think we all have lunch together every day for the most part. It's been very fun. You know, I think we just chat, have fun, take away from the stresses of lab.


Dr. Ortiz-Gonzalez:
I think it is a great environment because we not only have the great scientific, you know, strength of the Research Institute, the close collaboration with Penn scientists that can also inform, but we also you know have the partnership with families that come to CHOP looking for excellent care.