Las Vegas, N.M.
– New Mexico Highlands graduating biology major Brittney Mares has co-authored
a research paper with nine scientists from the University of New Mexico. The
paper was published in Developmental Neuroscience March 28, 2019.
“I was part of
a research team at the University of New Mexico in the summer of 2018 that found
a link between babies being born with prenatal brain injuries and having altered
immune systems,” Mares said. “For our research, we used a rat model in which we
induced cerebral palsy, a brain injury.”
23-year-old Las Vegas, New Mexico, native and the first in her family to
complete college, will graduate from Highlands in May 2019. She credits her
Highlands professors with preparing her to succeed academically. Mares, who has a
6-year-old daughter named Zaishah, said it meant a great deal to her that her professor,
Dr. Jessica Snow, was also a role model for combining science and motherhood.
of all my excellent biology and chemistry professors at Highlands who have
played vital roles in helping me reach my educational goals, Dr. Jessica Snow
has really inspired me and encouraged me to excel throughout my undergraduate
years,” Mares said. “She has pushed me out of my comfort zone and always
believed in me. She also introduced me to life changing new opportunities like
the UNM research internship.”
Snow, who is
Mares’ academic and pre-med adviser, said Mares is someone who is willing to
sacrifice a lot for her education.
“That Brittney co-authored this published
paper is a highly prestigious accomplishment for an undergraduate. Brittney
acts with a sense of urgency in research, which is a necessary quality in a
successful researcher, particularly with regard to meeting deadlines for grant
and paper submissions.
she spent nearly every waking hour during her summer research project either in
the lab or reading papers related to her project,” Snow said.
Mares said her
ultimate goal is to serve as a medical doctor.
“I want nothing
more than to be part of something so important to humanity, something I can put
all my time and effort toward, that will always benefit more than just myself,”
Mares said. “Medicine played an impactful role in my life when my daughter had
serious health issues that she overcame with medical intervention. This
motivated me to pursue medical school.”