University of Puerto Rico
Rio Piedras Campus

I am a fourth year student at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus; pursuing a major in Natural Sciences with a concentration in the Interdisciplinary Program. Being a student in this program has provided me with the opportunity to enroll in a vast range of Science courses. This has allowed me to expand my knowledge of the Natural Sciences; learning about Biology as well as Astronomy. The program provides the flexibility of enrolling in course work with a personalized curriculum without having to follow a strict class agenda.

I consider myself an energetic, responsible, hard-working individual with leadership qualities, who is a very good team player. I attribute some of these qualities and traits of discipline acquired throughout my formation as being part of an American Football team for ten years. I have always felt attracted to Science since as long as I can remember. However, I never gave my full attention or time commitment during high school since I was more dedicated to physical activities. It was not until my third year in college that I really started committing to my studies and Science classes in particular. It is a very complex field that varies from the changes that occur in space and Earth’s flora and fauna (life), to the way the human body works (myself, mankind). It is essentially vital for everything in life and it is a field that never stops evolving (particularly in the human mind); two reasons that define exactly why I am now a prisoner within its wall less rooms.

I am now very enthusiastic and excited to learn from good teachers (professionals in this field) and acquire new experiences throughout my formation. Therefore, this year I will be working in the Center for Environmental and Toxicology Research at the Department of Biochemistry in the Puerto Rico School of Medicine, along side Dr. Braulio Jiménez. Together we will engage in the research and knowledge of arsenic (As) and how it affects the sediment, water, air, and health.

Arsenic is a steel gray metalloid that is found all over the world and can cause poisoning if ingested, absorbed, or inhaled at dangerous levels. The main cause of arsenic poisoning is the drinking of groundwater, which can be contaminated by underground rocks that release arsenic or that comes from human activity from above. This research caught my attention because it will allow Dr. Jiménez and I to observe and analyze specifically how some aspects of the environment, in this case arsenic, can drastically affect our bodies, and how both of them interact with one another. Apart from that, we will hopefully be analyzing other major consequences and problems in today’s health that occur due to this element that are not well known.

Working in the field will be a great and new college experience that will help me grow. It will allow me to expand my knowledge and have the opportunity to contribute to the scientific community, which is my main ambition and goal.