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Throughout high school, I developed an affinity towards the biological sciences. Learning about the organ systems, taxonomy, and cell structure came as second nature. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in biology but did not want to follow a route directed toward medical or nursing school. It wasn’t until reaching my sophomore genetics course in college, that a sudden spark of interest arose to discover and learn more about the regulation and interactions of DNA. I was mesmerized at how the specific binding of nucleic acids generated a code that was packed tightly into chromosomes, which were then confined into a cells’ nucleus, could originally hold the instructions towards building the structure of proteins, cells, organs, and organisms. As I assisted managing the organization of a research team directed towards embryonic eye cell development in fish, I was able to view the behind the scenes of the research. I was able to view the coordination between lab members and how research to prove innovating scientific discoveries could be another option for influencing the medical field.  Although my only laboratory experience consists of required lab courses for a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and working in management jobs for lab organization, I view the MD Anderson Summer Research Experience as an opportunity to further my knowledge in genetics. I would like to take this opportunity to continue improving my interpersonal skills and build a well-rounded profile by gaining experience outside of school-related functions. I have read about various labs and programs that take part in research at MD Anderson and view their work as an inspirational platform, providing an array of topics of which I am interested in pursuing and learning more about. I am interested in collaborating with others that are interested in genetics research, the evolution of the human genome, or gene expression and would like to further understand the field and develop hands-on experience in a research lab. Becoming part of a research team would be of benefit to build relationships and connections that could enhance a career path involved in medical genetics. I would also like the benefit of having a mentor or advisor overseeing not only the progress of the research but to also provide guidance in growing as an intern and student. I would like to learn and gain a first-person insight into laboratory work in which I can put to use the knowledge and techniques learned in class. Participating in the Summer Research Experience would be a catalyst to becoming more informed ultimately about branches of study in genetics research, of which I could build a career out of. As of now, my educational goals include gaining valuable experience in the workforce field while maintaining status as a full-time Biology student at Lone Star Community College. After completing prerequisites, I would like to transfer to the University of Texas- MD Anderson School of Health Professions to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Cytogenetic Technology. By becoming a cytogenetic technologist, I would be able to provide my services in further developing research regarding functional genomics, karyotyping and chromosomal mapping, and causes of genetically inherited diseases. I would like to continue my studies to expand my driving curiosity of how alterations to DNA sequence affects gene regulation and expression, therefore impacting the behavior of cells and organisms overall. Learning and understanding the causes of inherited diseases at the microscopic level would help to pursue a Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling. I would like to directly engage with patients while providing the appropriate guidelines and coping mechanisms to better understand inherited conditions. Specifically, I would be interested in building a career in prenatal genetics, in which partners wishing to build a family could learn about the risks of heritable diseases, their causes, appropriate testing, and the future steps to take as partner and parent.  

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