Gabriela Franco (Pathways Program Mentor)

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Texas at Austin

Advisor: Dr. Jacob Robinson

Department: Bioengineering 


I am a second-year bioengineering graduate student. I am from Round Rock, Texas, but have extended family from Mexico and west Texas border towns. Growing up with a father who is an electrical engineer and a mother who is a teacher inspired me to pursue higher education in STEM. I did my undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin where I majored in biomedical engineering. During my undergrad, I was also involved in Latinx groups and STEM outreach programs. I enjoy doing scientific research with the aim of treating diseases and am particularly interested in research involving neuroscience. I am currently conducting neuroengineering research in Dr. Jacob Robinson’s lab. When I’m not in lab, I enjoy being active by going to the gym or doing yoga. I also love music, going to concerts, and trying new food around Houston. I am excited to be a Pathways mentor because of the terrific experiences I’ve had as a mentee last year, and am also eager to continue mentoring here at Rice University as a doctoral student. I also hope to inspire underrepresented students to pursue their academic and professional endeavors.

Affinity group affiliations: LatinGrads@Rice

Favorite thing about Rice:

The campus is beautiful and I feel well supported as a graduate student.

Favorite thing about Houston:

The food! 

Why did you decide to go to grad school?

I really love research and wanted to expand my knowledge/skills.