Research from the heart

Mitacs Globalink student researching proteins associated with rare heart disease

Diego comes from Guadalajara, Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education where he is working towards his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology. It was his initial intrigue with DNA that drove him to this field of study, but now the possibility that his research will have real world impact has pushed him to pursue his masters.

A 12-week Mitacs Globalink internship brings Diego to the University of British Columbia, where under the guidance of Dr. Filip Van Petergem from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Diego is researching the components of the protein RyR to see how changes in its structure have been linked with a rare heart disease, among other genetic diseases.

The objective of Diego’s research is to gain insight on abnormal changes of function that can occur in the RyR protein. Then, he will help design medicines to recover the normal function where it could be used to treat different diseases linked to the protein.

When asked what his dream job would be, he answers selflessly, “It would be related to the different applications of genetics to benefit the well-being of humankind, either by doing research that could lead to new medicines, or treatments for a wide number of diseases that impact people daily. Thanks to Mitacs Globalink, I’m having the chance to experience this impactful research first hand.”

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec,the Government of Saskatchewan  and Research Manitoba.

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