Education: California State University, Long Beach
Research Laboratory Assistant
I am the oldest of 5 siblings and a first generation Hispanic college student in my family. I attended Golden West community college where I earned my AA in Science before transferring to California State University, Long Beach and earned a BS in Molecular Biology and Physiology.
As an undergraduate I developed a passion for research after joining the virology laboratory of Dr. Eric Haas-Stapleton (2013-2105). During my time there, I independently designed experiments to help elucidate a mechanism of action by which an antimicrobial peptide (called gloverin) produced in insects, was known to regulate the inactivation of the baculovirus Autographa californica M. nucleopolyhedrovirus.
I also tested for gloverin’s potential to have antifungal activity against the yeast, Candida albicans
Specifically, I studied the mode of action for the antifungal activities of gloverin, and demonstrated that the peptide interacts with the cell wall of the yeast form of C. albicans, which significantly delayed its transition to the virulent morphotype. This data supported our hypothesis that gloverin may have antifungal activities against this organism.
Throughout the course of my undergraduate research program, I became interested in oncogenesis research, as I myself was a patient of the malignancy. Earlier this year, I joined the lab of Dr. Patrick Frost, where I'm currently collaborating in several projects. One being the elucidation of the oxygen mechanism deregulation in multiple myeloma, with respect to epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes, and how this affects multiple myeloma within the bone marrow.
My goal within the next two years is to attend an MD/PhD program to become a physician/scientists. In addition, as a minority, I am passionate in advocating for higher education among the Hispanic community, specifically among first generation college students.