In honor of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, all this week we’ll be sharing profiles of just a few of our amazing Mass General postdocs to highlight their research and what inspires them.
Xavier Fernando Vela Parada is a research fellow in the Thadhani Lab in the Nephrology Division.
Where did you get your MD from?
I studied medicine in my home country El Salvador, Central America.
What questions are you asking in your current research? What do you hope to find out?
At the Thadhani lab we focus on finding new ways to detect and treat various forms of kidney disease. We hope that we will be able to find new markers and new therapeutic agents that will allow us to treat and detect kidney disease in its early stages as well as its complications.
What drew you to this field?
Nephrology is the basis of medicine. Since I was in med school I was impressed at the way the kidneys tightly regulate the human physiology; this was my favorite subject while studying to become a physician. Chronic kidney disease is problem of enormous proportions and I feel committed to work towards finding a solution for our patients.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day will include discussion with my PIs about new research questions and future directions for our research. Also, when working with patients I make sure they understand how much we value them and how important their contribution is to science. I also work closely with other staff, making sure our study samples are collected and stored properly. Normally I will also reach out to younger staff to share my passion for kidney research.
What do you like most about being a postdoc at Mass General?
I love the fact that being at MGH gives me the exposure to a vast array of fantastic clinicians, scientists, service and administrative personnel. Each one of them contribute in one way or another in order to achieve our end goal which is to improve patient care. At the same time MGH made me feel welcome from the very first day; in a place so diverse like this I encountered a new family.