National Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition "Salvador Zubiran"
My name is Fidel Lopez-Verdugo and I’m currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición ‘Salvador Zubirán’ in Mexico City. During medical school I had the good fortune of being mentored by brilliant physician- scientists that taught me the importance of doing research along with clinical practice. As a result, I’d been actively involved in research projects since I was a medical student, as I came to realize that even though I was preparing myself to help by mastering clinical abilities, doing research is another way to improve patients’ health through the creation of knowledge that will ultimately transform the standard of care, leading to better prognosis.
Accordingly, I’ve committed myself to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. During medical school, I developed a special interest in surgery, as I found myself looking in awe at surgeons who, with their expertise, healed patients with acute, and frequently life-threatening conditions. In addition to this, I was particularly concerned about patients with chronic, progressive diseases, as their management usually required complex, multidisciplinary efforts and frequent interactions which often enhanced and strengthened the patient-physician bond. Naturally, I became deeply passionate about the field of transplantation surgery, particularly liver transplant.
At this moment, I plan on formally being part of a research team before pursuing residency in general surgery. Thus, I took a position as a postdoctoral research fellow, and I’m currently working with both the Department of Transplantation and the Department of Immunology. Our projects revolve around the areas of organ rejection, immunologic tolerance, and the development of strategies to expand the organ donor pool and improve organ allocation systems.
My ultimate professional goal as a surgeon scientist is to perform translational research that will have a direct impact in improving patients’ outcomes. As a consequence of the different research experiences I’ve had the opportunity to be part of, I am a firm believer that collaborations between different institutions and research teams enhance learning as expertise areas are usually complimentary and provide different opinions which promotes the discussion of ideas and generation of new projects.
Outside of work, I enjoy watching sports, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. One of my favorite hobbies is playing basketball, which I have done for the most part of my life and I try to keep doing it at least a couple of times a week. Aside from this, I particularly like visiting museums as I admire the different cultures both within my country and worldwide.
I have lived in Mexico City for the last 9 years, as my brother and I left our hometown in El Fuerte, Sinaloa looking for an opportunity to get a better education. Even though I live apart from my parents, my love and admiration for them keeps growing by the day and I cherish every time I go back to my hometown or when they come to visit us. Without a doubt, my parents and brother stand above everything else in my life.