Nelson Lazaga

Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology
John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa
651 Ilalo Street, Bioscience Building 320
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
E-mail: lazaga@hawaii.edu

Personal Statement
As a child I had a natural inclination toward science and like most children I was curious. Inquires like, what makes the sky blue, how did the dinosaurs disappear, or how are crayons made, come to mind. During my first year in college I was introduced to the world of research, working as a laboratory assistant in a nervous system developmental laboratory. Research became a critical effector in emphasizing why I want to be a medical researcher. Curiosity led me to further my research repertoire by working as a laboratory assistant in a neurobiology lab and a geobiology lab. As a master’s student, I received the first place Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering award at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resource (CTAHR) Student Research Symposium for two consecutive years (2010-2011). I completed my M.S. degree with my thesis titled, “Isolation, propagation, and characterization of urine derived archetype human polyomavirus JC.” In 2012, I enrolled in the Tropical Medicine department’s Ph.D. program in hopes of continuing my studies in infectious disease and bridging clinical relevance with basic science research.

Education
University of Hawaii at Manoa.  2007, B.A. – Biology
University of Hawaii at Manoa.  2011,  M.S. – Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering
University of Hawaii at Manoa.  2012 – present, Ph.D. candidate – Tropical Medicine

Experience
2002-2008 – Laboratory Assistant, Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
2004-2005 – Haumana Undergraduate Research Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa
2004-2005 – Laboratory Assistant, Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
2007-2008 – NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Fellow, University of Hawaii at Manoa
2007-2008 – Laboratory Assistant, Department of Geobiology and Geophysics
2008-present – Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Interests and Hobbies
I have an insatiable need for human interaction and therefore, I spend time volunteering for different organizations; including, Islands Hospice, the Hawaii American Society for Microbiology, and the Life Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV and assisting people with HIV and AIDS in Honolulu, Hawaii.  My hobbies include tennis, painting, playing video games, and hiking.

Publications
Sung C, Wong LE, Chang Sen LQ, Nguyen E, Lazaga N, Ganzer G, McNabb SL, Robinow S.  (2009). The unfulfilled/DHR51 gene of Drosophila melanogaster modulates wing expansion and fertility.  Developmental Dynamics. Jan;238(1):171-82.  PMID: 19097190

Lazaga N, Chapagain M, Nerurkar V.  Archetype human polyomavirus JC replicates in primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells.  2011 American Society for Virology 30th annual meeting, University of Minnesota, July 18, 2011.  (Oral Presentation)