For Immediate Release
May 21, 2015
Former Moreno Valley College Student Selected for
Prestigious Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Jose Luis Orozco, a graduate of Moreno Valley College's Nuview Bridge Early College High School program, has been selected to participate in undergraduate research into cures for kidney disease at the University of Texas.
The Summer Undergraduate Research Institution for the Study of Kidney Disease (SURISKD) Program at UT Southwestern's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is an intensive training experience for college students who are preparing for Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. careers in biomedical research. The university's biomedical research program ranks among the top 20 programs in the nation.
Orozco, 19, who is in his second year at UCLA, hopes the experience will help set him up for a career curing an array of diseases. He already has done diabetes research at Loma Linda University.
"Upon researching diabetes I noticed that it has a profound affect on the kidneys," he said. "This sparked my interest, but several months ago when my mother was hospitalized for renal ketoacidosis due to her complications with diabetes, I really realized I wanted to know more."
As part of the UT program, Orozco will spend five days, 40 hours a week, conducting his own research alongside a faculty mentor. He'll participate in workshops and lectures related to kidney diseases and present at symposiums at UT Southwestern and Emory University. He is one of only 15 students to participate in this summer's program.
"With this experience I hope to gain the knowledge, and possibly (attract) funding for research as an undergraduate," Orozco said. "I also hope to expand my knowledge of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, develop my range of research techniques, and improve my skills as a scientific writer."
His end goal is to complete an MD/Ph.D. program. However, right now he's focused on graduating from UCLA. Next year, he'll apply to be a MARC scholar at UC Berkeley, which involves two years of research-intensive honors classes that help students prepare for admission into competitive, high-demand Ph.D. programs.
In the end, Orozco hopes to become a leading authority in diabetes research and make a lasting contribution to the medical field.
"MVC provided a great step towards my preparation for college, and the faculty inspired me to have a passion for what I was learning," he said. "The Honors Program pushed me to challenge myself. Dr. Marsh, my advisor, motivated me to keep pursuing my goals and always encouraged me to be curious.
"(Ultimately), I want to be able to make a direct and positive impact on the future of modern medicine and be able to help people."