Netzahualcóyotl Arroyo Currás (Netz Arroyo) is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was born in the city of Puebla, Mexico where he completed his compulsory education in 2004. He then moved to Monterrey to attend college at Tec de Monterrey, where he obtained his B.S. in Chemistry in 2009. Upon graduating he moved to Austin, TX to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, where he worked with Allen J. Bard in electrochemical energy storage and studies of electrocatalysis employing scanning electrochemical microscopy. He graduated in 2015 and moved to Santa Barbara, CA to complete his postdoctoral training with Kevin W. Plaxco at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he developed electrochemical biosensing platforms supporting the real-time measurement of specific molecules in the body.
Origin of his name: The name Netzahualcóyotl comes from Náhuatl and means “coyote who fasts.” It is the name of one of the most iconic characters of pre-Columbian Mexican history: ruler (tlatoani) of the city-state of Texcoco, philosopher, warrior, architect and poet. The name was given to Netz right at the moment of his birth, mainly promoted by his father (who was Mexican) yet immediately adopted by his mother too (who is Spanish). Netz believes that his name has played a fundamental role in shaping his personality and is proud of its historical roots. An anecdote he often tells about his early life recalls the time when he was in kindergarten and had to learn how to write his own name. While all the other kids with simple names were able to do it rather quickly, it took little Netz a greater effort to accomplish the task since he had all the difficult letters from the alphabet in his name (without considering the count!).