By Sara Guitierrez |Staff Writer|
Seated in the biology lab working with influenza samples is an individual with such grace and intelligence, you are immediately drawn to her.
Her name is Veronica Perez and she is a biochemistry options major.
At 22, Perez is one of the first members in her family to attend college. Growing up with such strong and determined parents set the foundation for Perez’s success.
“My parents taught me to try my best and to never give up,” said Perez.
This past January, Perez took part in the 25th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium held at the Marriott in Anaheim.
Such an event is described by the CSU website as one that recognizes excellence in undergraduate research in biotechnology.
The competition spanned over an entire weekend and had a record number of applicants. Here research topics covered multiple aspects of the field of biotechnology.
The participants competed for an award totaling $1,750 in memory of deceased CSU Fullerton biochemistry professor, Dr. Dean Glenn Nagel.
For the competition, Perez made a poster of her research about cell type difference and presented in front of a panel of judges.
There were a total of 266 research posters in the competition and Perez was one of six finalists.
Biology associate professor Laura Newcomb mentored and referred Perez for the competition.
“[Newcomb] made me feel comfortable in the lab. She’s definitely a role model and I look up to her,” said Perez.
An active member of CSUSB’s chemistry club, Perez also makes time to help a disabled student on campus through student services.
Her involvement in the minority access to research careers program funded by the National Institute of Health, enabled her to participate in a paid research program last summer.
The research was conducted at the UCLA and Perez worked close to three months on the research program.
At this time Perez is undecided about whether to pursue pathology or Emergency Room medicine.
“I am really interested in how diseases arise and also [with] emergency medicine. I get to deal more with people,” said Perez about the two career path options.
Perez is a member of the American Medical Student Association. Recently, Perez started an internship at Riverside Community Hospital.
She is dealing directly with patients and learning valuable information about her future career goals.
Perez obtained her associate’s degree from San Bernardino Valley College, which made her eligible for the Passgo Grant. The grant assists students with internships and scholarships at CSUSB.
Perez’s June graduation will make her a CSUSB alumni like her older brother.
When Perez graduates in June, she plans to take a year off so that she can take part in research opportunities.
Perez has already started looking for internships.
For medical school, Perez plans to apply at UCLA.
With a vast amount of experience and determination, Perez’s future is looking bright.
It is no doubt that all of the admirable things Perez has already accomplished, she will be a force to be reckoned with in the medical field and humanitarian realm.