My name is Alan Baez Vazquez and I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. When I was eight years old, my family moved from Mexico to Maine due to a change in my mother’s career and in pursuit of better opportunities. Despite being born in Mexico, I consider Maine to be my home. I grew up attending Waterville public schools and got my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from The University of Maine in Orono. I originally enrolled at UMaine with the intent of pursuing a degree in chemical engineering; however, when I took a class on bacteriophage genomics (where we got to isolate and characterize our own novel bacteriophage!), I quickly realized I was pursuing the wrong career. My plans for the next five years are pretty flexible. I love to perform research; however, I am not entirely sure which specific area of biology I’d like to dedicate my PhD to. Most of my experience lies within the fields of toxicology and immunology; however, I have always wanted to explore genetics, genomics and their intersection with molecular biology. Due to this I am very excited to take advantage of the brief exploratory period that pre-rotations and rotations will bring about. When not performing science, I love to hike (Acadia National Park will always have a special place in my heart), run, play the flute and cook. I am very grateful for the opportunity to study here at Harvard and I am incredibly excited to begin this next life journey.