Fourth Year Undergraduate
At University of Puerto Rico
Río Piedras Campus
I’m a fourth year undergraduate student focused on finishing a Chemistry Bachelor’s (B.S) at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. I chose this branch of science as a concentration major because it studies the basic principles of other sciences, which also includes some fundamental aspects of Medicine. Ever since I was in tenth grade, I have aspired to pursue a career as a Psychiatrist. I find this specialty very interesting, because unlike others, it teaches how to treat a patient in a moral, biological and social way. My ultimate professional goal is to obtain a Medical Degree (M.D.) and offer public services in the Island. I’ve decided to get involved in multiple extracurricular activities in order to expand my knowledge in Science, some of which are research oriented including membership to scientific societies at the local and national level.
Research is essential to humanity because it leads to the development of a better lifestyle. My first formal research experience was in a Materials Sciences laboratory at the Natural Sciences Faculty in 2011 with PhD. Liz Diaz’s Research Team. The project was named “Fabrication and Characterization of Nano-structured Materials for Remediation and Detection of Explosive in Environmental Samples”. The project consisted in the synthesis of organic and inorganic polymers to quantify, detect and retain DNT, TNT and Perchlorates based on molecular imprinting and analytical techniques (SPME, HPLC/MS and GC/MS). It has been one of my best undergraduate experiences, because it has enriched my academic and social skills as well as fostering critical thinking. It has also provided an experience to meet worldwide scientists and be exposed to new areas of research. I’m sure that the principles I’ve learned during this exposure are positive aspects that are molding and guiding me through my professional development.
Since I plan on studying Medicine, my Bachellor’s Degree is in Chemistry and my elective classes are in Biology, it seems like a good idea to familiarize myself with research in Toxicology. This science studies the undesired chemical exposure, which induces biological and physical effects on living organisms and hence the initiation of many diseases. In order to treat wisely and prevent the development of many diseases it is important to learn about their etiology in which environmental factors play a key factor in their progress. I have recently joined Dr. Braulio Jimenez’s research team with the purpose of expanding further my knowledge and interest in the Science of Toxicology. The project in which I’m working is based on identifying certain trace elements in the blood of premature babies with the hope of identifying and establishing common links in neonatal exposure and birth effects, using the atomic absorption instrumentation.