Dr. Lorena P. Samentar, Assistant Professor 5 from the Division of Biological Sciences, CAS, is selected as one of the Outstanding Graduates, Spring 2021, of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She considers such distinction as an “even greater blessing” together with her being able to accomplish her doctoral studies. Dr. Samentar is graduating with a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Cell and Molecular Biology).
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the plans and timelines of many researchers, academicians, and graduate students worldwide, including Dr. Samentar, who mentioned, “the pandemic has actually pushed back the timeline for the degree completion.” She related that the University of Nevada “issued a hold order in the acquisition of animals for research, (there is also a) shift of production of most companies to prioritize Covid-related supplies and reagents, and the long quarantine of imported raw materials.” All this caused delays and significantly affected her research timeline.
Dr. Samentar’s dissertation is on the “Development of a novel Alzheimer’s therapy.” Her dissertation explores potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia. Further, her research interests include Cellular and Molecular Biology, specifically in phagocytosis, protein and genetic engineering, receptor-ligand interaction, neurodegeneration, immunohistochemistry, and biological imaging. Her previous researches included mollusk reproductive biology, histology, molecular cloning, and protozoan infection.
With her graduation also comes the excitement of coming home to the Philippines. Dr. Samentar is more than eager to be back in the country and return to UP Visayas. While rest is part of the picture when she comes home, she is also excited to share with UP Visayas the learning and experiences that she gained from her Ph.D. journey. She is looking forward to working on research projects, establishing linkages, mentoring students, and producing significant scientific research and discoveries that can benefit the community.
When asked for her message to her fellow faculty members in UP Visayas who would like to pursue further studies, Dr. Samentar highlighted the importance of passion. She said, “it is important that the field you will pursue is really where your heart is because that passion will sustain you through the years despite the challenges you will encounter.” She also identified several other important characteristics that one must remember when pursuing further studies: being self-driven, having a clear focus, and maintaining a strong support system, especially from friends and family. She also added this very important line, applicable not only to those who plan to pursue further studies but also to every individual – “rest if you must but NEVER QUIT.”
For the full feature of Dr. Lorena Samentar, please visit this link: https://www.unlv.edu/news/article/spring-2021-outstanding-unlv-graduates