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Meet the first TBMH graduate student conducting research full-time in Washington D.C.

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Category: research Video duration: Meet the first TBMH graduate student conducting research full-time in Washington D.C.

Blanka Bordas is the first Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health graduate student to conduct research full-time in a lab on the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in Washington, D.C. Bordas is in her second year of Virginia Tech's TBMH Graduate program and is working in Dr. Kathleen Mulvaney's lab. 

Blanka Bordas is the first TBMH student from the Virginia Tech campus to choose to join my lab here, that we're very excited to have her at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at the Children's National Research and Innovation Campus in Washington, DC. She's the first pioneering graduate student to come across from Roanoke and Blacksburg over here. We're so excited to have her. I am second year in the TBMH program at Virginia Tech. TBMH stands for Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health. The program has a focus on from like bench side to bedside clinic. My project interest is finding how enzymes bind their substrates. And then the protein of our lab, or the enzyme of our lab, is a methyltransferase, that's an enzyme that places methylation marks onto its substrates. And then my project is looking at what that methylation mark means, like what the consequence of that is in a cell. I'm really excited. Blanka has been fantastic for the group. She has really positive energy helps. The lab is really nucleating around the first group of people. So we need people who are like her, who are both fantastic scientists and have that positive energy, the right attitude to really work hard and overcome any obstacles and achieve in the lab. Well, I think my end goal is being able to think about science independently. So right now, like I can do the experiments and I can kind of have an idea of what I need to do next. But I think like being a competent scientist is the dream end goal. She's already seeking her own fellowships. She's already applying for her own grant funding. So we're awaiting decisions on a couple of different fellowships she applied for, but she found one that's specifically for first generation Americans and new Americans. And she got that application out and she just has been a real force of nature in the first few months here. So we're pretty impressed and happy to have her. Blanka has that perfect mix of capability and energy that I think she's going to be incredibly successful here. And her forging ahead and being the first is going to help other students who come behind her. I think it was very obvious that it was a great opportunity like with the new facility, with like all the collaborations with J-labs and like still the connection with Virginia Tech. I like really love the lab and like how Dr. Mulvaney teaches and like the lab environment, like working with everyone here. So it's actually a pretty easy decision in the end, I can't imagine being anywhere else.