The ASBMR helped Patricia with funding that allowed her to build her lab and get national recognition for her research on bone metastasis.
Dr. Patricia Juárez Camacho is an Assistant Professor for the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada, Baja California, México her research focuses on targeted therapy of bone metastasis and study of new anti-osteoporosis agents. With 10 years as an ASBMR member, she shares what has helped her advance in her research and her career over the years.
How has the ASBMR helped you in your career?
I came from Mexico to pursue my postdoctoral training in bone metastasis at the University of Virginia in 2007. One year later, I attended my first ASBMR Annual Meeting in Montréal, Québec. My work was selected as a plenary poster, which meant that it would be highlighted during the Discovery Hall Welcome Reception. I kept the blue ribbon that was attached to the poster board and I still remember the excitement for attending for first time, the opportunity to see so many scientists from all around the world, the amazing science, the interaction between basic and applied research and the vibrant feelings that were in my heart every time that I was talking about my work with a colleague. During this first meeting, I understood the meaning of doing research in the bone field and the dedication and excellence that is necessary to achieve good results and communicate with the scientific community.
Further, I received an AIMM/ASBMR Johan Haddad Young Investigator award In 2011, and I was one of the winners of the President´s Poster Competition at the Annual Meetings in 2011 and 2013. All these awards motivated me to become a better scientist, built up my self-confidence as a scientist and developed my abilities to communicate with my peers. Thanks to the financial support of some of these awards and my mentor, I was able to attend almost every ASBMR Annual Meeting, and later in my career, I started building a strong professional network that includes professors and young scientists who, like me, became professors in the bone field. In 2014, I became Assistant Professor at the CICESE, a research center in Ensenada (Baja California, México) and, in 2016, I was honored with the ASBMR Rising Star Award. Thanks to this award, I was able to acquire essential equipment needed to strengthen my laboratory, and I became a real star in my Country, which highlighted our research and my research group, and it brought us a lot of national recognition, please see the story in the last section.
What ASBMR resources have been most valuable to you?
I have been a member of the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee. This has been one of the most exciting opportunities in my academic life. Participating in this committee, I have learned more about the work done by the ASBMR and how a committee functions. It is also very inspiring to work with senior scientific women from the bone field that I admire! The fact that they listened to my opinions strengthened my self-confidence and motivated me to be more involved in our Society. As a result, I have been offered the opportunity to participate in mentoring other women at the Annual Meeting that are in a position similar to mine as they were young scientists who came to the USA to complete their scientific training and advance their career. Together with other women from the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee, I have been working to advocate for the presence of more talented women in leadership positions at the ASBMR, for the recognition of more women through the ASBMR Esteemed Awards and to promote the participation of more international female scientists who deserve to have the opportunity to attend the ASBMR and pursue a career in the bone field.
How have connections with other ASBMR members helped you in your career?
Thanks to the strong connections built through the years I do not feel alone, I am part of a community, the ASBMR is my family in bone. Three years ago I moved back to México where both my husband and I got independent researcher positions at the CICESE, a federal research center located in the North-West of México. In this geographic area, our groups are the only ones doing bone and cancer research. More than a limitation, it has been an opportunity because we both are pioneers here and we are working on building a solid bone research group. Despite that, one disadvantage of being in the North of México is that we are far away from the center of the country where the vast majority of the scientific research is done and it is difficult for other people to get to know our research.
However, this changed last year thanks to the ASBMR. In October of 2016, I was awarded an ASBMR Rising Star Award and that completely changed my life. The news about the award brought us tons of recognition because it was highlighted in the news of the Mexican scientific community. Further, the story went viral! Lots of the media were talking about it, and soon the president of my country tweeted about it: “Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Juárez for the Rising Star Award and her research in cancer.” My work was featured in the local and national newspapers of my country at least 60 times. I got interviewed on the radio and on TV. My name was cited in many TV programs, they did a special reportage of me at my work and my home and my Mom that is on the opposite side of the country got to see me on TV! One of the sweet things was that I was also invited to my favorite radio program that I have been listening to every morning for the past ten years, until one morning… I was there! At the beginning, it was a little overwhelming for me, but then I realized the big opportunity that I got to talk about our research in bone, the ASBMR and the presence of women in science. Academically, thanks to all the promotion, during 2017, I was invited to give talks in many scientific meetings around the country and universities. Finally, thanks to the financial support of the ASBMR Rising Star Award, we now have in my laboratory a histology unit that is critical for our research and supports the projects and training of our students and colleagues.
Join ASBMR and take advantage of the many opportunities that we offer to highlight the excellent scientific research being done all around the world!