Meet Edgar Ruiz. Ruiz is a second year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University. Ruiz is from Mexico and is a Rice Graduate Ambassador. Ambassadors are students who represent the university and help prospective students gain knowledge of student life as a graduate student at Rice.
Ruiz chose Rice as a graduate school because of his interest in integrating engineering and medicine in his studies. His research focuses on a type of bone cancer that mainly affects children and young adults called Ewing Sarcoma. This type of cancer is considered rare, and treatment options have not advanced much in recent years. He is developing an assay to identify altered levels of proteins that are associated with cancer in individual cells while performing it on hundreds of cells at a time. This work could help to develop new therapeutic strategies in the future.
When he is not conducting research, he serves in various leadership roles within the Rice community. He is a part of Latin American Graduate Student Association (LAGSA), Salseros and volunteers with the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) on campus.
Ruiz advises prospective students to be open minded for their potential research experience, considering that funding, projects, P.I.’s interest and lab availability may affect their graduate school decision.
“Do not put all of your hope in a specific advisor or project,” said Ruiz. “Choose graduate school based on being able to research in general.”
Ruiz also advises prospective students to try to find a good match between them and the P.I. they choose.
“Think about the P.I. you are committing to when you accept the offer to come to graduate school,” said Ruiz. “That’s a decision that will affect how you will develop during the five to six years of study.”
Ruiz advises current students to step out of their comfort zone and explore all they can to allow for more experiences and hobbies to be created.
“Graduate school is a time for learning what you like,” said Ruiz. “Try everything that you haven’t tried before.”
Outside of academics, Ruiz enjoys running and used to run on his high school’s track and field team. Ruiz also enjoys trying different restaurants in Houston and attending museums in the Museum District.