My progression into the field of molecular biology was initially unexpected. When I first began my college courses at Santa Ana College (SAC), I did not know what I wanted from my education, since I had been questioning my need to work full-time to support my family. Additionally, many classes did not hold my interest, further discouraging me from pursuing education. It was my first Biology course with Dr. Jorge Lopez that finally caught my attention...
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...s, and career options that I am now pursuing. The laboratory portion trained me in techniques such as molecular cloning, PCR, and cell culturing that continue to be beneficial skills. Furthermore, my oral presentation skills were refined through weekly seminars requiring presentations on current research projects and readings. Throughout my participation, much of my project revolved around cloning MCOLN1 transcription factors into overexpression vectors, which were eventually transfected in human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells to increase protein expression. My research efforts as an RCP scholar resulted in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Student Research Award, granting additional funding to my research in Dr. Cuajungco’s laboratory. This award, the first of several, strongly encouraged me to continue developing myself as a scientist.
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