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Ride to the Top

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By Marvin Gonzalez

Summer is usually an opportunity for high school students to take a break from learning, but for Michael Pineda, the summer between his junior and senior year was a life-changing opportunity to conduct research on the human microbiome at the Broad Institute at MIT. “At MIT, I became very fascinated by the sciences,” says Pineda. “My experience at MIT also led to my interest in research and engineering.”

Pineda entered his sophomore year at ASU this fall, having just returned from another summer adventure—working under the direction of Christopher Mason, associate professor of physiology and biophysics at the Weill Cornell Medical College at Rockefeller University in New York City. He assisted in research analyzing South American waterways with particular focus on the Amazon River.

A student at Barrett, The Honors College, Pineda has returned to Translational Genome Research Institute (TGen) to continue his research under Michael Berens, professor and director in the Brain Tumor Unit. Pineda spends about twenty hours a week at TGen while carrying a full class load. His Doran Community Scholarship—made possible through a gift from Maureen and Wayne Doran ’56—provides financial relief through tuition and school-related assistance, allowing Pineda the ability to keep his sights on his ambition to use his education to impact human health.

Pineda aspires to one day pursue a medical doctorate in oncology and a doctorate in neuroscience. His time in the lab gives him the experience he will need to excel in this highly competitive environment. “Being a truly successful student and researcher would not be possible without the financial and administrative support that comes with the Doran Community Scholarships,” he says.


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