What kind of research are you participating in?
I work at Dr. William Cance's Drug Discovery Lab through the University of Arizona Cancer Center. My research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of focal adhesion kinase inhibitors for cancer treatment.
What do you do in the lab?
Focal adhesion kinase is a protein that is overexpressed in 80% of all cancers. It is the protein that facilitates cancer invasion and metathesis. I synthesize focal adhesion kinase inhibitors.
What is most exciting to you about the SOLUR program?
I really love that the SOLUR Program emphasizes scientific communication for non-specialist audiences. Being able to communicate in a very precise, yet relatable way is a skill that I have enjoyed building through SOLUR.
Why is being part of a community of researchers important to you?
Science doesn't take place in a vacuum. Being part of a community of researchers is important to me because it is through our diverse experiences and ideas that we are able to make scientific advancements and discoveries.
What are your plans after graduation?
In May 2019, I will be applying for medical school. My research experiences prepare me to be a better doctor. I have gained the confidence to ask questions, read scientific literature, and lead projects through research, all of which are invaluable skills to have in any STEM profession.