By Gianmarcos Rivera ’21
Calling all scientists! Chaminade’s Science Research Club kicked off its 2018 Lecture Series on Wednesday, January 24. The first speaker was Dr. Patricio Meneses, who is the Associate Chair for the Biological Sciences Department at Fordham University. Dr. Meneses began his talk by questioning the many interested science students in Hearst Auditorium about general topics in biology which many of them recalled from their studies of science at Chaminade. The main topic of Dr. Meneses’ talk was the Human Papillomavirus, which is the research focus for his lab at Fordham.
During his talk, Dr. Meneses used a teaching method that many current with which Chaminade students are familiar. He AirPlayed his iPad to the Apple TV in Hearst and drew the many biological processes he was talking about as he was speaking. He related the complex topic of viral replication by referring to more general topics, like the cell cycle, that many in attendance recalled from their biology class.
“The talk was very interesting and very educational,” said Brain Venneri ‘21. “I would recommend attending these types of talks to anyone, whether they are interested in science or not.”
Dr. Meneses also spent some time talking about his path towards becoming a research scientist, which was a long and winding road that included studies in the field of neuroscience, several years of doctoral work at Cornell University, and plenty of time acquiring grants to fund his lab. However, after his long academic career, he realized his true passion was for research.
At the conclusion of his talk, Dr. Meneses said he is interested in accepting students to work in his laboratory in the Bronx during the summer in conjunction with a few dozen students he presently has working with him. Dr. Meneses told the young scientists in the crowd that “sometimes a naive answer is the clue to something bigger.” He certainly inspired many to believe that a general understanding allows for a broader range of questions and problems to be solved.
For those interested in the continuation of the 2018 Science Research Club Lecture Series, future talks with various scientists pursuing several different scientific areas will be held. If you are interested in these talks or anything else regarding scientific research, think about joining the Science Research Club and learn about the talk, trips, and research opportunities they have coming up.
Dr. Meneses ended his talk by encouraging the young scientists to keep their questions simple, that good questions start with “How” and then elaborate from there.
See you in the lab!