Journey to Science
How did you become interested in science?
I’ve always been curious. When I was 8, I moved from Lima, Peru to the US, and I saw science everywhere—and not just in my new school. When I went with my dad to the eye doctor one day, I remember reading educational pamphlets that lined the wall. I was just fascinated by the drawings and diagrams of eyes and eye diseases. That was a defining experience.
Academic and Professional Ambitions
What’s the larger significance of your Amgen Scholars research? What’s your ultimate career goal?
The Amgen Scholars Program had a big impact on helping me decide that I want to do research. Besides the opportunity it gave me to explore research outside of my home institution, I learned fundamental lab techniques under a mentor who was passionate about seeing me succeed. I also sought out clinician scientists at the NIH, and was able to learn how translational research is combined with the practice of medicine. My ultimate goal is to become a physician scientist.
Why did you apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?
Although I had tried hands-on research before, I wanted to figure out whether working full-time in a lab was a career I could see myself pursuing. I thought that meeting researchers at another institution and trying research in a different field would be valuable in helping me decide my career path. The Amgen Scholars Program offered so many great benefits that I couldn’t find elsewhere, for example, the symposium in Los Angeles.
What aspects of the program did you enjoy most?
It was the people: my peers in the lab and the other Amgen Scholars. They brought different aspirations and experiences to the table. It was absolutely amazing to be able to speak with experienced researchers at the symposium about the science, and career paths in science. Attending the symposium helped confirmed my decision to pursue a career in academic medicine.