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George "Bert" Cortina

Murray 1693 Scholar

HometownBert

Poquoson, VA (Poquoson High School and Governor's School for Science and Technology)

Why W&M?

I toured a dozen colleges and seriously considered six. I was, at first, reluctant to attend William & Mary since it was so close to my hometown. Therefore, to narrow my decision I did a lot of research. In early August, I visited William & Mary for an optional interview. I left the interview very excited about the school specifically after hearing about its close-knit active student community. In March, I returned for the Murray Scholars Finalist weekend and here I got to talk to other students and meet many professors and I realized that William & Mary was perfect. It is small enough where students could easily interact with their professors, yet large enough that there were many different opportunities and activities available.

Major

Biology

Extracurriculars at W&M
  • Running Club
  • SHARP Biodiesel Project
  • Works at WM Information Technology Support Center
  • Research on international environmental governance
Research

I worked in Professor Mark Forsyth's microbiology lab studying Helicobacter Pylori, a bacteria that resides in 50% of people's stomach. I was particularly interested in whether H. pylori enters the stomach cells and if so how it survives the change from the extracellular environment to intracellular environment.

Where am I now?

I was in medical school at the University of Virginia and I have now started a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, for which I will be doing computational models of antibiotic resistance. In the Engineering School, I was honored to be selected as one of the students representing the NIH portion of the funding, which means they expect big things from my research.