Working towards a sustainable future
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Student: Joaris Soto Hernández

Name: Soto Hernández, Joaris

Hometown: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Institution: University of Puerto Rico

Campus: Aguadilla Campus

Rank: B.S.

Major: Biomedics

Expected date of graduation: May 2014


USDA Agency of interest: USDA-ARS



Career cxperience/location:

Worked in a research internship named SMART, a program at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas, under Dr. David Moore.


Description of career experience (what I learned):

I worked studying nuclear receptor CAR. We wanted to find out if endocrine disrupter xenobiotic DEHP activated CAR in mice testes . QPCR and western blot were

performed for CAR target. In the future, CAR will be knocked down in the cell lines to determine leydig cell function when CAR is lost.


What is your perception of agriculture now:

Our planet is going through a lot of changes that are affecting the human species and other variety of species. As the time passes, investigators have found higher

concentrations of this xenobiotic, DEHP, being exposed to the humanity. We should keep investigating why and how this is happening and what modifications are needed to

be done so that agriculture doesn’t get affected by this problem. We must learn the latest technological advances to increase agricultural harvest and products to feed the

human population with food that is not contaminated with this molecule.


How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities:

I learned how to improve my ability to use cellular biology techniques such as QPCR, SDS-PAGE, western blot, cell line treatment and the instruments required for these



Career and research aspirations:

I aspire to accomplish a PhD in Cellular Biology related to endocrinology.


Skill Set:

– Bilingual–English/Spanish – Cellular Biology Techniques – DNA Extraction- RNA isolation- PCR-

QPCR- Wesetern Blot- Gel electrophoresis – Cell Treatment – Microscopy – Leadership skills – Microsoft Word


The impact of my career experience:

My research experience at Baylor College of Medicine helped me grow more as a person professionally. They gave me the neccesary instruments and skills to enhance my

knowledge in acquiring and analyzing new data, helping me become a proficient scientist for future investigations. Thanks to this opportunity I worked with laboratory

machinery and performed specialized techniques that I hadn’t used before or are not available at our institutions. I had the chance to treat mice and cancer cells. This

research internship gave me the motivation and the desire to keep investigating.

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