Microbiology and salsa are probably not normally associated with each other. But for Sergio Aguedo Mojica those two things are the perfect match. – Basically my life is being in the lab, going dancing and exercise, he says.

Sergio in the lab.

In the laboratory in the Biology Building at Umeå University, among test tubes, pipettes and microscopes, Sergio Aguedo Mojica spends most of his days in his white coat doing research on Chlamydia. He was born in Puerto Rico but has lived in the northeastern part of the USA since the age of eight. In college he studied cell molecular biology and after his Ph.D. on Chlamydia he got a job offer as a postdoctoral researcher in Umeå, continuing his work in the Chlamydia field.
– Chlamydia is caused by a very unique bacterium that does things differently than every other bacterium. What we try to do here is to find more compounds to kill it.

As a child Sergio always wanted to do some kind of science. He got inspiration from different books and he liked to watch a half hour TV program for kids called “Bill Nye the Science guy”.
– As a kid I was really interested in space and astronomy. In Puerto Rico my dad used to take me out on the backyard and show me stars and the planets. But you have to be good at math to do astronomy. I wasn’t, so I ended up doing biology which is also very interesting.

When he isn’t in the lab it’s likely to find Sergio on the Umeå Salsa Club’s dancefloor. He started dancing about ten years ago, and it didn’t take long before it became his big passion.
– Whenever I come to a new city I look up where you can dance salsa. Just the day after I arrived in Umeå I contacted the Salsa Club here. Dancing is very important in my life. I find it to be a great way to get out there and be social with people and meet people. It feels great, you move, you burn calories, it’s good stuff.

Read more in Vertex 5-2017.

Text och photo:
Vendela Wikström