Undergraduate Research Assistant
Major: Biomedical Science
Supervisor: Daniel Gallego-Perez, PhD
At the age of 14, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, I have had a passion for healthcare and medical research. This passion inspired me to take on opportunities that will help me achieve my dream of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. It pushed me to complete an independent genetic research project, which yielded multiple awards at the Ohio State Science Fair and had its results published in the National Center for Biotechnology’s Genbank database. It caused me to be the first student to graduate from Carrollton High School with a STEM Honors Diploma. It led me to The Ohio State University’s biomedical science (BMS) program, where I am one of only twenty undergraduates in the College of Medicine’s BMS class of 2024. It brought me to Dr. Gallego-Perez’s laboratory, where I have been pursuing my dream.
Upon joining the lab in the spring of 2021, I was trained and mentored by Luke Lemmerman, a graduate fellow in biomedical engineering. During the 2021-2022 academic year, we devoted our time to the Insulin Producing Cell (IPC) project. This project focuses on deriving pancreatic islet-like cells from fibroblasts via non-viral direct cell reprogramming methods. In the summer of 2022, Luke graduated with his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and chose me to lead the IPC project. In the fall of 2022, I orally presented the IPC project at the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. I also presented at three of Ohio State’s poster forums. Currently, I am working as a full-time research assistant in order to keep the IPC project and my dream alive.
Once I graduate from The Ohio State University, I plan to enroll in a medical scientist training program to acquire my MD/Ph.D. This dual degree program will allow me to be involved in direct patient care while continuing my research in type 1 diabetes.