October 2011

Research spotlight

At MIT, I met some incredible people that were both heroes and role models to me. Professors Dan Kemp, Catherine Drennan and John Essigmann had a strong influence on me regarding what it means to be a scientist and to stand for what you believe is right.  

My friend, and now MIT professor Amos Winter, has been an incredible role model. Amos has used his mechanical and engineering skills to bring relief and mobility to injured and handicapped people in Africa and India. Another strong influence is my friend Alia Whitney-Johnson. As an undergraduate student at MIT, she took it upon herself to help women in Sri Lanka who survived abuse and sexual violence and started Emerge Global.  

These are just some of the individuals who I consider role models and have influenced me in my scientific and humanitarian endeavors. They have shown me through their lives how scientists can have an immediate effect on global humanity. 

What is it that keeps you working hard and studying science every day?  

I want to understand how things work, both in my research or in general life and recognize the underlying processes that are used to construct and maintain a system. This thirst for information is what gets me going and keeps me excited about both my research and life around me.  

To contact Hernandez, email hectorh@mit.edu.  

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