Yessenia Perez, an undergraduate Kinesiology major with a concentration in health science at UTSA, was recently awarded first place in the 3M Ready, Set Research competition. Perez presented on the possible relations between maternal exercise during pregnancy and the offspring’s response to cardiac stress.
“The idea is if the mother exercises during pregnancy, there is a chance the exercise could provide protection to the offspring’s heart, which could benefit the offspring’s response to cardiac stress in their adulthood,” Perez said.
The 3M Ready, Set, Research competition, hosted by UTSA’s Office of Undergraduate Research, was open to any student who was engaged in undergraduate research. 17 students participated from different majors and disciplines. Three judges scored each three-minute presentation. For coming in first place, Perez earned a $350 scholarship.
Perez worked closely with Dr. Eunhee Chung not only for the research competition, but also for the Provost’s undergraduate research fellowship this past summer. “Yessenia helped data analyses about the interaction between gut bacteria and fungi in response to maternal exercise and diet, which is our on-going research,” Chung said. “She is a hard-working, very responsible, and dedicated student. I am extremely pleased to have her in my laboratory.”
Perez is set to graduate this fall, and plans to obtain a Doctorate in physical therapy. She notes that Dr. Chung in particular gave her opportunities to expand her research knowledge and skills. “I really enjoyed the opportunities offered at UTSA,” Perez said. “I have been able to accomplish so much here with the help of the supportive staff.”