My name is Estefania, I was born and raised in the beautiful colonial town of Oaxaca in the south of Mexico, but I have always considered myself a citizen of the world, most places feel like home to me. I travel as often as I can, traveling keeps me on edge and gives me greater appreciation for how others live and experience the world.
I have always been very curious about nature and the universe, my big eyes could not swallow enough information; I have always wanted to know more. I wanted to know how things worked, how organisms function, what are we made of, how individual molecules know their function and much, much more. Needless to say I decided to pursue a career in Science.
I moved from Mexico to the United States where I studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. There I trained and worked with wonderful scientists at the Batey lab, studying the structure of Riboswitches, really neat small molecules that are made of ribonucleic acid (RNA) which control their own genes by sensing how much of a particular metabolite is in the cell, they are quite an impressive and fascinating mechanism! During this time I learned X-ray crystallography, the powerful technique that scientist such as Rosalind Franklin utilized to get the images that facilitated the discovery of DNA’s double helical structure.
Then I moved to Minnesota to study at the Maher lab in Mayo Clinic. There I did research on ribonucleic acids (RNA) and how they interact with proteins such as restriction endonuclease (REases) and transcription factors (TFs). During my doctoral research I lived in Sweden for more than a year and worked at the Taipale lab using an in-vitro technique, I selected hundreds of RNAs that bind tightly to their protein targets and inhibit their function, we hope that these RNA aptamers could be of potential use for therapeutics in the near future.
During the past five years parallel to my scientific career I have been on a journey of self-discovery, which led me to train and learn from wonderful teachers. I studied and received a certification on plan-based nutrition from Cornell University. Studying the lectures and research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, emeritus professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, made me realize the vast misinformation and conceptual misunderstandings that we have about diet and nutrition, I realized that a plant-based diet was optimal for my body and since then I became a vegetarian.
The high-levels of stress that I was under during my doctoral training led me to study techniques to ease out stress. I trained under Dr. Amit Sood at Mayo Clinic and was certified in Attention and Interpretation Therapy (AIT), a technique based on principles of neuroscience that utilizes mindfulness to develop resilience and decrease stress. Dr. Sood’s methodology incorporates key elements to build gratitude, compassion and acceptance. Learning to calm my mind and learn to focus in a new way changed the way I approached my day-to-day life and opened up space in my mind and in my body that allowed me to keep learning and exploring other exciting topics while carrying my doctoral studies.
Attention and Interpretation Therapy taught me how to calm my mind and mediate. Meditation became a daily practice, a place where I get connected with source, with God, with the Universe and with myself. Cultivating compassion helped me look at myself in a new way and it lead me to study and work with Amber Krzys. I joined her Body Heart Bootcamp, an intense but loving training that taught me to stop a lot of the negative self-talk, to make friends with my body, to enjoy my body and truly care for it.
Compassion, self-love and mindfulness meditation led me to a new experience that I was not expecting. I realized that I could feel energy and that I had this ability since I was a little girl. You probably do too; in fact, all of us can feel energy. It is that dense feeling you get when you walk into a room in which a third party had an argument, or the difference in how it feels inside a Church compared to inside a creepy bar. Well that’s it and the more you tune it up, the more you feel. Just as when learning to appreciate music, first you learn to listen to the beautiful orchestra and then you start learning to differentiate the violins from the chello, the trombones from the trumpets or the flutes from the oboes. In order to learn how to listen and feel energy I have worked and trained for over three years with Dr. Sonia Coquette, author, spiritual teacher and six-sensory, to tune these abilities, first as a way to honor myself and now as a way to assist others. I have also taken classes with Mira Kelley, a past-life regression therapist and with Kyle Gray a young and enlightened spiritual teacher.
Two years ago I moved to the Pacific North West and worked in the Stoddard lab as a post-doctoral research fellow, researching the structure of small RNA molecules, also known as aptamers. We want to know exactly how they bind, to better understand how proteins interact with nucleic acids. I also trained with Erin Benzakein, a wonderful and inspiring woman, an entrepreneur, flower farmer, author and mother, learning how to grow, farm and arrange flowers.
Currently, I started a new path, I recently became a mother and I am taking a break from the lab. During my time off I enjoy spending time with my husband, writing articles about interesting things such as science, nature, health and spirituality. I also work as a meditation and career coach to those who are trying to find their calling in life. If you need assistance, I will be delighted to help! More information about how to work with me can be found here.
Hope to connect with you,