Hugo Guterres, Chemistry PhD candidate

Hugo Guterres, Chemistry PhD candidate, sits down with the College of Science Graduate Program staff to talk about what it’s like to work and study at Northeastern University.

Describe your research.
I do structural biology research, studying the structure and dynamics of a signaling protein called Ras GTPase that is involved in up to 30 percent of human cancers.

What is your favorite part about Northeastern?
My favorite part about Northeastern is its internship/co-op opportunities for graduate students. I did an internship at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland in 2013 and I’m starting a summer internship at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in June. I really appreciate the opportunity and flexibility that the graduate program offers because, it allows me to experience different research settings during my graduate studies.

Why did you choose Northeastern?
I chose Northeastern because, I really liked its Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. It has some of the strongest faculty members who are doing great research. It has been producing successful alumni who go on to do cutting edge research both in academia and industry settings.

What is your favorite part of Boston?
Its location. Boston is the hub of science research, especially in the field of biotechnology and life sciences. It makes it easier to collaborate with some of the best scientists in the field. It offers a lot of opportunity to network with people who share similar interests and passion for scientific research. For example, my lab has a bimonthly meeting with other crystallographers in the greater Boston area, including MIT, Harvard, BU and UMass Boston. My lab mate and I usually go to the BAGIM (Boston Area Group for Informatics and Modeling) and BCBB (Boston Computational Biology and Bioinformatics) meetings in Boston which is free for students and only a short T ride away.

What are the perks of being a Northeastern graduate student?
There are quite a few. One that I really like is the career services that is specifically tailored for graduate students. I have used this service many times for things like resume and cover letter critiques to setting up mock interviews. I also like the monthly mingle at different departments hosted by COS graduate student services. It provides a venue for graduate students across departments to talk to each other about a specific topic, once a month.

What advice would you give to an incoming graduate student?
Northeastern has plenty of resources for graduate students, please use them. For example, the travel grants funded by the Graduate Student Government available for graduate students who want to go to conferences to present their work.