Meet One of Biology’s Newest Faculty Members

May 21, 2013 —

Dr. Denise Garcia

Dr. Denise Garcia
Assistant Professor of Biology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Degree: Ph.D. in Neurobiology, UCLA
Research interests: Neuroscience

Q: What did you do before coming to Drexel?
A: I was a postdoc at UC Santa Cruz

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: Anything by David Sedaris

Q: What’s your favorite food/restaurant?
A: I wouldn’t call it my favorite restaurant, but one of my most memorable meals was at Le Bernardin in NYC. It was an amazing experience that I’m fortunate to have had, and would gladly drop everything do that again!

Q: If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be?
A: President Obama, George Clooney, Kim Kardashian

Q: What’s one thing you couldn't live without?
A: Coffee

Q: What was the most memorable class you took as an undergrad and why?
A: Brain and Behavior; it changed my life. I started college intending to major in sociology and psychology, hoping to become a lawyer. I wasn’t particularly interested in science and harbored serious doubts about my capability to do well in any science course. I took Brain and Behavior to fulfill a general education requirement and I fell in love with neuroscience. I eventually changed my major to biology, and followed my passion for understanding the brain. I am here today, realizing my long-term goal to pursue my own research in neuroscience, because of that one class.

Q: What’s one thing every student who plans on taking one of your classes should know about you?
A: When it comes to teaching, I’m going to bring everything I have to the table. When it comes to learning, I expect each student to bring everything they have to the table, too.

Q: What made you want to become a professor?
A: The freedom to pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and the opportunity to share that new knowledge with the next generation of young scientists.

Q: What do you consider to be your biggest achievement thus far in your career?
A: Pursuing a career as an academic scientist is a long and difficult road. It’s an honor and a privilege to launch my career here at Drexel University, and I’m looking forward to many exciting discoveries to come.

Q: What course would you be most excited to teach at Drexel and why?
A: I’m looking forward to my first class, Neurobiology of Disease. I think examining what happens when the CNS goes awry is a powerful demonstration of how remarkable and fascinating our brains are.

Q: What do you hope to add to the CoAS community?
A: I hope to be able to translate my passion and enthusiasm for neuroscience and neuroscientific research into a meaningful experience for my undergraduate and graduate students as an educator, as a mentor, and as an example of a successful woman in science.

See Dr. Garcia in action: CoAS Dean’s Seminar: “From Repairing the Brain to Connecting the Brain: Astrocytes are Bystanders No More,” Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 3:30PM-5:00PM, Disque 109.