Lorenzo while defending his thesis in Cellular and Molecular Biology at University of Pennsylvania.

Lorenzo while defending his thesis in Cellular and Molecular Biology at University of Pennsylvania.

Lorenzo Ramirez, the son of immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico, has just earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a focus on gene therapy and vaccines. Thanks to you, Lorenzo was able to pursue and achieve his dream of a college and post-graduate education.

Lorenzo grew up in the city of Ontario and had considered going to college, but it wasn’t until Bright Prospect interviewed him and he became a part of the program that he realized what he wanted to do. Lorenzo attended Swarthmore on a full scholarship and got his Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Art History. Lorenzo says that executive director Stephanie Campbell edited his essays when he was applying for the Mellon Mays fellowship, which he was ultimately awarded.

“When it came time to apply to grad school, Stephanie was there not only to help with the application, but also by giving me emotional support,” Lorenzo says. “My parents did not

understand why I had to continue studying and go to grad school. Stephanie and Savoeun helped me with that and any issue I had. When I had no one else to talk to, I knew I could turn to them and they would understand and support me.”

Your support provided Lorenzo with incredible opportunities. He received an offer, which he accepted, to undertake a post-doctoral fellowship focused on helping college students in the STEM field at minority institutions, like Rutgers University, through the STEM Diversity Institute at the University of Massachusetts. An animal lover, Lorenzo is thrilled to also be working on a research project at of UPenn’s Veterinary School Working Dog Center. Lorenzo is one of the immunologists who will investigate why the working/trained dogs’ immune systems seem to work better than other dogs’. He will learn about dog training techniques and also act as the dogs’ immunologist.

 

 

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