Isaac Rodriguez-Chavez

Isaac Rodriguez-Chavez

Isaac Rodriguez-Chavez

Power Words

Motivación, Conocimiento, Inspiración, Actúa
Motivation, Knowledge, Inspiration, Act

Where were you born? 

Venezuela

What school did you attend? 

Central University of Venezuela (B.S., Biology, Minor in Microbiology); Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research-IVIC and Columbia University ( M.S. Microbiology, Virology); Duke University (M.H.S., Clinical Research); University of Delaware (Ph.D., Virology, Immunology); NIA and NCI Postdoctoral training (Viral Immunology and Viral Oncology).

What gained your interest in the NIH? 

My main motivation to join NIH was and still is to make a positive impact in biomedicine and global public health, so that I can contribute with exceptional NIH colleagues to find cures for diseases and improve the quality of life of people. I follow this passion by focusing on infectious diseases caused by viruses such as HIV -the human immunodeficiency virus- and finding novel prevention/vaccine and therapeutic approaches.

What kind of work do you do at the NIH? 

I am the Director of the AIDS and Immunosuppression Program at the NIDCR, NIH. In this capacity, I fulfill multiple roles, serving as a Program Officer, Project Officer, Contract Officer Representative (COR), Project Scientist, Senior Basic and Clinical Scientist, and Manager for grants, cooperative agreements and R&D contracts. I lead a national program that supports basic, translational and clinical research in the fields of Virology, Viral Immunology, Viral Oncology, Mycology and Bacteriology linked to HIV/AIDS and its infectious comorbidities.

What message would you like to send to young Hispanics who are considering going to college? 

Find and define your professional motivation by following multiple approaches. Consult with professionals in the field that interests you to gain key knowledge and understand the specific requirements of that field. In science and medicine, it is important to obtain advanced degrees if you would like to work as a scientist or as a physician. Study and work hard within your field of interest to make contributions that can enhance your field, society, country, and life in general. Know that the combination of your Hispanic/Latino origin and culture along with whatever race you are (e.g., White, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, or other) represent sources of inspiration as people like you are needed to make a positive and global impact. Get charged and act!