David Isaac Berrios

David Isaac Berrios

Pittsburg, California

“Moving forward, I am confident that obtaining a graduate education will empower me to improve the quality of life for others.”

Host University: University of California, San Francisco
Home University: University of California, Davis
Amgen Scholar Year: 2017
Major: Biochemistry and molecular biology
Expected Graduation: June 2018

Journey to Science

How did you become interested in science?

I loved learning about science because it gave me the opportunity to ask questions and follow my curiosity. I really attribute my interest in science to my mom. She was always gardening, and when she was in the garden, I would notice things and ask questions. Through watching her, I noticed the differences between things that were alive and dead, stoking my interest in biology.  My parents supported this early curiosity and interest in learning more about the world around me throughout my childhood, nurturing and developing my passion for research. Though my parents never studied science, they supported me by inspiring me to always pursue what I thought was exciting.  Since then I’ve become interested in learning how the natural world interacts with our health, and I recently decided that participating in biomedical research is the best vehicle for let me do this.

Academic and Professional Ambitions

What’s the larger significance of your Amgen Scholars research? What’s your ultimate career goal?

I worked in the lab of Dr. Adam Frost studying the structural biology of enzymes. Seeing something in clear detail that we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise is amazing. Observing and understanding the molecular machines responsible for life helps us unravel critical questions related to our health, such as the causes for diseases and disorders. Moving forward, I am confident that obtaining a graduate education will empower me to improve the quality of life for others. My ultimate career goal is to become a scientist who inspires others to achieve their goals. Like how the Amgen Foundation motivated me, I want to pay this forward and do the same in the future.

Why did you apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?

I was looking on the Internet for ways to spend my summer productively. When I came across the Amgen Scholars website, I was instantly interested and fell in love with the program. I love the opportunity it provides to students like me.

What aspects of the program did you enjoy most?

What I love the most is that it gives me the opportunity to meet other people who have the same interests I have. It’s really awesome to meet others who want to share their love of science. This new community has helped me develop my skills as a scientist.