Efrain Rivera-Serrano
Efrain Rivera-Serrano. Photo provided by Efrain Rivera-Serrano

Efrain is a virologist and cell biologist who uses microscopy to study how cells respond to viral infections. He is passionate about science communication, increasing diversity in STEM, and social media platforms. Outside the lab, he is the proud dad of 5 dogs and is working towards becoming a certified personal trainer.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

5 dogs and 3 chickens

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?


5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?


8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Biology teacher

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?


10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

My beautiful island of Puerto Rico

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?


12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

The Alchemist, book by Paulo Coelho

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Walk, hike, and run

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Dogs, coffee, my husband

15 What beverage gives you life?


16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

La casa de Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca

17 What did you want to be be when you grew up?


18 What drives you and keeps you going?

The enthusiasm, passion, and drive of younger minds.

19 What got you excited in science?

Learning the process of cell division.

20 What excites you about science now?

How cells respond and adapt to stimuli

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?


22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I can memorize insignificant details for years

23 What is your favorite game?

Is Pokémon still a thing?

24 What is the last book you read?

Essentials of Personal Fitness Training

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

“Don’t forget why you started”

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Owning a pig

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Relax, everything will be fine.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?


29 What is the last thing you watched?

Game of Thrones finale (what a disappointment)

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

A razor blade while traveling. Found it in my bag after passing through airport security…says a lot.

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Don’t really have one.

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Potato salad

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Any holiday that falls on a Monday or a Friday

35 What is your favorite plant?


36 What is your favorite science fact?

Gender is not a synonym of sex

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Veterinary office

39 What is your favorite sound?


40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My confidence

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?


42 What is your proudest moment?

Finishing my Ph.D.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Royal poinciana (Delonix regia)

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

Is not about where I live, but who I decide to live with.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I don’t know how to ride a bike!

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Dr. Stephanie Langel (@stephanielangel)