University of La Verne Student Aspires to Medical School

Bright Prospect college student Silvestre Sanchez was born in El Monte, California to a single mother who struggled financially. At the age of 10, Silvestre and his mother moved to Pomona so they could be closer to his grandparents. His mother worked two jobs in order to give him the necessities and then some; the only thing she asked of him was to focus on his education so that he could provide a better life for his children. Silvestre dreamed about attending college but didn’t know how to get there. Then, during his sophomore year at Palomares Academy of Health Sciences, Silvestre met a few staff members from Bright Prospect. That allowed him to realize his dreams and goals to fruition, and led him on the path he is today. Bright Prospect guided him through the entire college application process, such as applying to various colleges, obtaining financial aid, and helping him decide which campus to attend.
After graduating from high school in the spring of 2014, Silvestre enrolled at the University of La Verne a few months later as an International Business major. However, during his second year of school, he changed his major to Biology because his younger brother’s premature birth inspired him to go into the medical field.  Silvestre struggled during his first year as a Biology major, but found a life and academic mentor in Dr. Jerome Garcia. Dr. Garcia saw his potential and offered him an opportunity to join his research lab to study physiological biochemistry. Silvestre is also collaborating with Mr. Decker at Keck Graduate Institute on a project that focuses on immune cell differentiation. The goal of the project is to determine the key proteins that regulate cell differentiation to target for immune therapies such as tissue-immune system communication and tumor regression. In the fall of 2017, he presented his findings at the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research
Conducting medical research has been challenging yet satisfying for Silvestre because he has been able to work on projects that have the potential to help humanity. His other recent accomplishments include publishing an article on mitochondrial remodeling in the February 2018 edition of "Federation of European Biochemical Societies" Journal and working as a teaching assistant in the physiology and developmental biology department at the university. Silvestre also attended the Society of Toxicology Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, where he met world renowned Toxicologists, attended research presentations, and engaged in discussions regarding the future of research models. In his spare time, he volunteers at Queen of the Valley Hospital working with doctors and physician assistants in several departments. Silvestre is expected to graduate from the University of La Verne in the spring of 2018 and will be applying to MD and MD-PhD programs in the summer of 2018.

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