Osvaldo Gutierrez, Ph.D., was born in Rancho Los Prietos, a small town in central Mexico where his grandmother served as a midwife. Seeing how his grandmother helped people through her work inspired Dr. Gutierrez to pursue a career where he, too, could help people. His family emigrated to the United States when he was young. Despite challenges he faced in a new country, he graduated from high school, attended community college, and was accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles. He originally planned to become a medical doctor, but an undergraduate research experience sparked an interest in chemistry, and he ultimately earned a Ph.D. in the field.
Dr. Gutierrez is now an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. He combines his fascination with chemistry and passion for helping people by investigating chemical processes that could help make more affordable medicines. To study these processes, he uses both laboratory experiments and computational methods, which involve using computers to predict fine details of chemical reactions. He also focuses on mentoring students in his lab because he appreciates the importance of helping undergraduates find research opportunities as they seek a career in science.
In a video interview, Dr. Gutierrez shares his journey as a scientist, his research, and his advice for students who want to pursue a scientific career.
Dr. Gutierrez’s research is supported by NIGMS grant R35GM137797.