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The people make the difference

Elico Teixeira wanted an intimate setting for his undergraduate studies—so he was drawn to Santa Clara, with its small classes taught by professors rather than teaching assistants. He earned a degree in engineering physics and, the next year, in business finance; he’s now continuing his studies in management science and engineering at Stanford.

During his senior year, Teixeira worked in the lab of Dr. Leilani Miller, identifying how cells develop into their specialized forms. More specifically, researchers in the lab identify protein interactions that can act as cell development triggers. The project will ultimately help scientific understanding of how cells become different from one another.

“The way the system works is incredibly cool,” says Teixeira. Through several relational steps, the protein interactions are identified when a clear solution turns blue. “Of course there is a lot more science behind this, but I find it fascinating that such a complex and elegant system boils down to such a simple result,” he says.

Just as a cell is influenced by the environment around it, Teixeira says it was the greater Santa Clara community that influenced his career decisions. “The community is really what differentiates this small campus from any other major university. Personally, I was deeply influenced by the Jesuit way of thinking; the tradition believes in a shift to view the world from a ‘we’ perspective rather than a ‘me’ perspective. Our decisions need to always take into account our community,” he says.

He went on to graduate work in science to pursue a career in alternative energy initiatives: “I am most interested in the opportunities biofuels may provide as well as the future of solar energy, specifically organic photovoltaic devices,” Teixeira says. “Santa Clara has not only fueled my interests in alternative energy and medicine, but I believe my broad education here has provided the fundamentals I will need to succeed in further graduate studies.”

Elico Teixeira '07, B.S. engineering physics, B.A. '08 business finance

Currently earning master's degree in management science and engineering at Stanford University

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