As a biology senior student at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, I’ve had the opportunity to become engrossed in different fields, such as: Bioengineering and industrial microbiology, which ultimately has gained my interested in the medical field. On the way I encountered the field of toxicology and contacted Dr. Braulio Jimenez and asked him to serve as my educational mentor. As an effect, I have made the decision to pursue an MD/Ph.D. For me the biological field serves as a window of possibilities to be engaged in the scientific and general communities. My professional goals aside from serving as a physician involves having the opportunity to collaborate and integrate the field of Bioengineering and neurobiology. Consequently, to create cutting edge techniques for the treatment and diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases. It is an interest of mine to work towards better treatment options or a possible cure for patients diagnosed with diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ultimately having the opportunity to enhance patients quality of life is what really attracts me of the medical and biological field. As a doctor and/ or researcher we have the responsibility to constantly replenish our knowledge with the most recent findings in order to serve the community at large in response to what is happening in the advancements in the health field. But it also serves as a personal satisfaction to have the opportunity to revolutionize the medical field and to represent the Puerto Rican scientific community.

Another subject of engrossment that resulted from my previous interest in neuromuscular diseases and the correlation they have with environmental factors is the toxicological field. I am especially intrigued by the relationship between neurotoxicity and the environmental toxicological aspects. Therefore, I decide to expand my knowledge in this field and expose myself to research opportunities.Thus, I came in contact with Dr. Braulio Jimenez- Velez and spoke to him about my interest in collaborating at the Center for Environmental and Toxicological Research. As a result, Dr. Braulio Jimenez gave me the opportunity to become an active member of a team composed of undergraduate student in his research laboratory. Therefore, I will be exposed and guided through the most fundamental aspects in Toxicology. In addition, I hope to use every learning experience that I can acquire to expand my knowledge in Toxicology.

I have been involved in various workshops and volunteering opportunities. I participated in the Amgen biotechnology lecture series at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. There I received a certificate of accomplishment for assisting and completing all of the lectures. This was a great opportunity because I got an insight of the biotechnological aspects in the industry. I also collaborated as a trainee in the Bioengineering workshop sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. I was given the opportunity to extract the collagen from rats and work with different NaOH percentages as well as temperatures in order to create the strongest scaffold.This was a great opportunity for me, there I learned to perform various techniques that are fundamental in the tissue engineering experimental field. In addition, I also enjoy serving as a volunteer in different hospitals and veterinary clinics. I’ve had the opportunity to shadow surgeon, as well as veterinary doctors and help raise awareness toward spaying and neutering. I believe these experiences have made me a well rounded person, who enjoys life and is compassionate about serving others.