Diego Simón

Diego Simón

Position: PhD student, Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Research focus: How viruses, in particular arboviruses, are affected by the compositional biases and immune systems of their hosts.

What do you love about viruses?
Viruses are relatively simple yet full of emergent properties (many worrisome but all fascinating).

Who is your favourite scientist and why?
Perhaps Alfred Sturtevant, and how he developed the first genetic- linkage map.

What is your favourite way to spend a day off?
As a computational biologist, the amount of time I spend indoors and in front of a screen is excessive. So I try to spend most of my free time outdoors.

What are you currently learning?
I am revisiting immunology.

What is the most interesting question or challenge in science that is still unanswered?
Which came first: the virus or the cell?

What is the coolest thing about your research?
As I am interested not only in viruses but also in their hosts, I have worked on all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryota) in addition to viruses.

What do people think about you that isn’t true?
I try to be transparent enough and not have to worry about that.

What was your most surprising scientific finding?
I have found many cool things, but others have found it months, decades and even centuries earlier.

What was your biggest achievement, and what your biggest failure?
I remain positive either way, so it is best to look ahead to the next challenge.

Which scientific topic (outside of your field of research) do you think should have more scientific attention?
I think it is crucial to learn more about the diversity of viruses in less studied hosts and environments.

If you were completely free to choose a scientific topic to work on, which would it be?
I might see myself leaning towards even more curiosity-driven research.

If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?
Be more focused from Monday to Friday, and switch off at weekends.