Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Spotlight on early-career researchers: an interview with Natalia Castaño-Rodríguez

Dr. Natalia Castaño-Rodríguez is a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellow in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of New South Wales. Her research focuses on understanding how host immunogenetic factors interact with bacterial infection and gut dysbiosis to regulate tumorigenesis and chronic inflammation in humans, using molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, and bioinformatics. As part of our series on early-career researchers, we asked Dr. Castaño-Rodríguez to talk to us about her research and career path. She also shares the lesson she’s learned from studying the bacteria colonizing our stomachs.

Image credit: Natalia Castaño-Rodríguez

In addition, when I commenced my research career, I was convinced that excelling at research was enough but now I know that I must also be successful at networking, teaching, accounting, management and even marketing. All these responsibilities can be sometimes overwhelming. However, we get better with time, more skillful, we also learn to say no, and with good mentorship, we become wiser.

From a personal point of view, I believe it can be sometimes a challenge to have a balanced life, especially for young female researchers. It is important to teach our early career researchers how to have fulfilling lives (lives that include family, friends, hobbies and other activities that lead to well-being) without compromising research output.

This interview was conducted by Associate Editor Jung-Eun Lee.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Spotlight on early-career researchers: an interview with Natalia Castaño-Rodríguez. Commun Biol 2, 121 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0376-8

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0376-8

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing