Catching up with Tere Padilla-Benavides

With three years passing from Inclusion in STEM’s first interview of Professor Teresita
, it was more than time for an update about MB&B’s Assistant Professor.

2023 was as an eventful year for the Padilla-Benavides lab, with the NIH providing an approximately 1.9 million dollar grant, R01, to cover all indirect and direct costs of research. Citing this moment as her biggest accomplishment of the year, Padilla was proud to announce: “I’m happy, I’m half way in my cycle so I need to start preparing for renewal pretty soon. I have a couple of proposals out on review right now, I’m getting scores, getting good reviews, so working on getting more funding.”

The Padilla-Benavides lab is currently in the process of publishing four papers, with the MB&B professor herself working on her post-doc review. In addition to her work at Wesleyan, in August, Padilla-Benavides was admitted to the Maximizing Access Committee, MAC, from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. MAC strives to encourage inclusivity and diversity in the natural sciences. When asked what this achievement means to her, Padilla-Benavides responded: “it’s a very big honor because it’s a
national society in MB&B.” Furthermore, she noted that major events are underway for MAC, stating: “we’re trying to organize fun stuff for the national conference that’s going to be next semester, in the spring. We’re trying to get a workshop about LGBTQ communities with some partners in Texas. We are planning some special strategies for increased retention for the success of the undergrads in MB&B. It’s fun, very recent.”

When asked if she had any advice for STEM students at Wesleyan, Professor Padilla-Benavides emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the array of opportunities provided at the university and the necessity to “work hard” towards every endeavor.


  • Professor Padilla-Benavides in her office.
  • Teresita Padilla-Benavides analyzing recent data with her two undergraduate lab students, Emma Johnston and Antonio Rivera.
  • Padilla-Benavides and Antonio Rivera preparing the French cell press, an equipment used to study cell membranes.
  • Professor Padilla-Benavides extracting a sample rack from the lab’s cryogenic freezer
  • Padilla-Benavides preparing agar petri dishes in the fumigation hood.