TONY VEGA, Senior, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 2019
Research Program: MURPPS
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sascha Nicklisch, Environmental Toxicology
Research Title: Optimization of Recombinant Mammalian and Fish Drug Transporter Expression in Escherichia coli
Hometown: Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, CA
Three words to describe me: humorous, outspoken, inquisitive
What are your future plans and/or goals?
I am interested in pursuing a pharmacology masters program abroad in Spain to specialize in research involving cellular and molecular methods in pharmacology.
In what ways has engaging in undergraduate research impacted your future goals and plans?
Undergraduate research has allowed me to understand my true passions and many of my unique talents not detected in the classroom.
What contribution(s) will your research make to your field of study?
I hope that my research will allow us to assess the safety of many chemicals that we are exposed to (pesticides/pollution/hygiene products) and modify those currently existing so that we may live safer, healthier lives by protecting our immediate environments. I also hope that in parallel my findings may help those interested in drug design to model potential therapeutics after chemicals my group has studied to improve public health.
What preparation and research experience did you have before applying to your research program?
I've been driven to pursue research abroad specifically with the Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Taiwan Quarter Abroad organized by the UC Davis Global Learning Hub. Through this experience I was able to learn research methods in a different culture which impacted by goals as a researcher tremendously.
Personal achievements/accomplishments or other news and information:
I will be presenting at the 2019 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii this fall.
What advice do you have for other undergraduate students seeking research experiences?
Stay true to your personal values and outlook. One end goal of your research and experience should be to enhance those aspects of yourself.
What else would you like us to know about you?
I'm a Sagittarius!