Career Spotlight: Carlos Carmona in the Montaner Lab
Recently, The Wistar Institute created a virtual tour of our Montaner Lab which focuses on infectious disease research such as HIV through highly collaborative regional and international projects. We interviewed Carlos Carmona, Data and System Manager for the team. Read more about how he got to where he is now, and a glimpse inside working in the Montaner Lab at Wistar.
What is your personal story, journey to science, and future goals?
My career story is not as clear cut as some may expect. In college, I studied public health, where I wanted to understand and promote the health and well-being of all people. From mapping out how diseases spread to launching initiatives that keep communities healthy, public health touches almost everything you can imagine. As a first-generation Latino college graduate from North Philly, it was quite daunting trying to navigate my options and find a place where I can make an impact in my city.
Then, I stumbled upon data. Before working at Wistar, I had been in research projects that always asked how data was collected and how that led to results. It was interesting to experience how reviewing information from Excel sheets and building data visuals can impact our understanding of the world, especially in biomedical research.
What is your current position and how do you collaborate with each other and other lab members?
As a Data and System Manager, I can piece together reports that not only help clinical teams troubleshoot data issues, but also understand their study participants better as they go through clinical trials. I also get the opportunity to contribute to research discussions about efficient data collection methods and leveraging data to make a measurable impact where it counts.
What were the scientific goals you most want to accomplish in your Wistar work related to your MPH degree? What are your goals beyond?
Like my experience in public health, working in data means wearing many hats. You’re a translator, team player, problem solver, and trailblazer all at once. My biggest goal at Wistar is taking pieces of data from our research studies and communicating how that data is a steppingstone toward building a healthier life for everyone. And I get to do that one report at a time!