I Am Vanderbilt: Lorena Infante Lara

Lorena Infante Lara
Lorena Infante Lara

I Am Vanderbilt celebrates the people of Vanderbilt and the unique talents and contributions they bring to their work at the university each day.

For the last three years, Lorena Infante Lara has served as science writer, editor and social media manager for the Office of the Dean of Basic Sciences in the School of Medicine. She promotes the research carried out by Basic Sciences faculty, staff, postdocs and students by writing and editing articles, creating weekly and monthly newsletters, curating the Basic Sciences Twitter and Instagram accounts, producing the biannual magazine, Vestigo, and more.

But Infante Lara first joined the Vanderbilt community in 2013 as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biochemistry. “Vanderbilt is the environment where I ‘grew up’ as a scholar through my graduate career, and I love it here,” she said.

“All of the biological and biomedical departments thrive on collaboration and fulfill the Vanderbilt mission of discovery and innovation with flying colors,” she said. “But if a tree falls in the middle of the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It’s my job to make sure that everyone knows Vanderbilt Basic Sciences is making a sound.”

Infante Lara enjoys taking complex scientific concepts and translating them into easy-to-understand language. “It feels like a puzzle—finding just the right words and stringing them together in just the right way—and it’s exciting when everything clicks and the meaning comes through to the reader,” she said.

Infante Lara says the university’s genuinely collegial atmosphere distinguishes it from other institutions of similar caliber.

“My favorite way of describing Vanderbilt to others, especially to prospective Ph.D. students when I was a student, is to say that Vanderbilt is cutting edge, but not cut-throat,” she said. “For all of its research excellence, Vanderbilt is a really collaborative place.”

–Kara Furlong