Dr. Javier Juarez Fernandez knew he wanted to be a molecular biologist since he was around 7 years old. He didn’t have much exposure to the field of science. His mom was an elementary school teacher and his dad worked construction.
“I didn’t know what a PhD was, and I didn’t know how to get one,” Fernandez said. But he loved science and declared a biology major in college.
A type of ultra-small bacteria called TM7 is common in many different environments, including the human mouth. Scientists believe it may play a role in gum disease. But in order to better understand TM7, researchers need to isolate it and study it in the lab, away from its human host.
It’s a rite of passage: dressing up, trick-or-treating, and collecting the biggest haul of Halloween candy possible. But the not-so-sweet consequence of all those treats can be downright scary: increased risk for developing a cavity. Here, Dr.