Tallya Maciel ’23, is researching ways to fight cancer in Boston
Tallya Maciel ’23, who graduated with a degree in biology with minors in chemistry and neuroscience, is now working as a research technician at the Dana Farber Institute of Cancer at the Longwood Medical Center in Boston, Massachuesetts. While there, she is working alongside Dr. Annamaria Gulla — an accomplished doctor specializing in cancer treatment — within her lab to further understand treatment options for various stages of multiple myeloma.
Upon her arrival at Salve Regina, Maciel knew that she wanted to do something regarding medicine. She began her academic career as a biology major, but found herself able to pick up two minors along the way thanks to the courses offered. Looking back, she is grateful that she took advantage of the opportunity to find new interests through advising and classwork.
While enrolled at Salve Regina, Maciel worked at a local eye clinic in Middletown, Rhode Island, called Eye Care for Rhode Island. As a medical technician, she was able to gain about three years of experience in the medical field. She also discovered two passions while working at the clinic: taking care of those in need and discovering new methods to prevent diseases.
As she looks back on her time at the University, Maciel is grateful that she was able to find the epitome of a mentor within Dr. Belinda Barbagallo, assistant professor in the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.
“Dr. Barbagallo has become more than just my mentor and professor,” she said. “She has become someone I trust wholeheartedly, and I have come to see her as a role model and friend.”
Maciel recounts moments where she felt lost and insecure in what she needed to do, but Dr. Barbagallo was always there to offer her support and guidance. She credits Barbagallo with the personal growth she has found at Salve Regina. She also credits her summer research in 2021 as being the most memorable part of her academic career, getting to know all her professors on a personal level and connect with them before she would take their classes in the following years.
“The experience was so wonderful that I founded an association right after for future student researchers to have a similar opportunity throughout the entire school year,” she said.
Maciel’s organization, the Association of Student Researchers, won Organization of the Year in 2021.
Maciel is overjoyed that she was able to take advantage of all the opportunities that Salve Regina gave her during her four years. She found that the proximity to the beach was a lovely privilege, as well as the multiple events such as SRyou Student Exposition.
“I have always enjoyed how students can do research and showcase their talent on such a special day like SRyou Student Exposition,” she said. “Very few institutions do such a thing, and it’s a highlight of Salve.”
As she graduates and leaves Salve Regina behind, Maciel will keep with her the memories and experience that she has gained within her accomplished four years. She is excited to bring her research beyond the Salve Regina campus and begin saving lives around the world.
For more Class of 2023 stories, go here.
This story was written by student writer Caitlyn Rubino ’25
Salve Spotlights is a series of people-centered stories periodically featured on SALVEtoday. Check out the tag Salve Spotlights for more stories.