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Meet Gladstone: Andrew Mendiola

Andrew is a postdoctoral scholar in Katerina Akassoglou’s lab. He grew up in Marion, Texas, a small town in-between Austin and San Antonio. Before joining Gladstone, he completed a PhD in cellular and molecular biology with a concentration in immunology at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

What brought you to Gladstone?

During grad school, I was following the science coming out of Katerina Akassoglou’s lab, and I naturally became interested in doing a postdoc here. When I came to interview, I knew immediately that my ambitious research goals would be possible in her lab and in the rich environment of Gladstone.

What do you like about Gladstone?

I like the dedication to high-quality and impactful science while maintaining a focus on mentoring tomorrow’s leaders. As a postdoc, I have really enjoyed the collaborative nature, the core facilities, and the seminars and workshops that Gladstone offers.

Were you interested in science as a child?

No, I was not that kid who was into science. I was into youth sports and outdoor activities.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I was a pre-dental student, and decided to take classes in biochemistry and immunology my junior year. This turned out to be a game changer. I fell in love with science and after some lab experience, pursuing graduate school was the next step in my effort to be a scientist.

What or who influenced your decision to work in science?

In college, being exposed to intriguing classes helped me appreciate science and realize what I wanted to do. As for a person, my wife Kristen has influenced my decision to work in science. Her continued support and encouragement throughout undergraduate, graduate, and now postdoctoral training has allowed me to pursue my passion for scientific discovery.

What do you do when you are not working?

I enjoy working out, including strength training, running, and yoga. I am a big sports enthusiast, so I watch and go to a lot of games (baseball, basketball, football). I also have two dogs (a Lab Retriever and a Terrier mix) that keep us busy.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would learn how to play the piano.

What is your hidden/unique talent?

I have the unique ability to quote from many genres of movies in my day-to-day conversations.

Name one thing that not many people know about you.

I really like bowling. I even used to be in a league.

If you could meet any scientist from any point in time, who would it be and why?

I would have liked to meet James Clerk Maxwell, who notably (along with Faraday) gave life to the concept of electromagnetic radiation. This concept of radio waves and visible light moving in space and in a wave later influenced Einstein’s thinking regarding space and time.