2014 CURE Intern: Edgar Hernandez

Hernandez_Edgar_150It's not something that one hears often from high school students, but Edgar Hernandez really loves school and learning. He credits his fondness of education to his parents. 

"They taught me that an education is priceless, because not everyone has the opportunity to go to school," he says.

At Century High School, Edgar is a member of the National Honor Society, Health Services Club and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement). Edgar was awarded Student of the Month in Science at Century as well as the 2012 Optimist Youth Club Appreciation Award.

As part of Century's Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, Edgar joins a select group of students with excellent drive to succeed. As a rising junior, Edgar is looking forward to taking Advanced Placement classes in Chemistry and Anatomy and Physiology. He thinks deeply and enjoys hands-on learning. His diligent work and time management skills have earned him a berth in the National Honor Society.  

Hoping to attend Oregon State University, Edgar will pursue medicine. "I want to have a job that I am proud of, and one that will allow me to provide for me and my family in the future. I like the idea that I could possibly make an impact on someone's life, and even an entire community," says Edgar.

In addition to excelling in school, Edgar makes time to nurture a variety of interests. He plays soccer, and enjoys studying history. He has been known to build a computer from scratch. Edgar also has a fascination with art, from Picasso's cubism to comic books. "I like art because it is a way to express someone's feelings beyond words, and how art can be interpreted in different ways," he says.

Edgar is wholly committed to his scientific pursuits. For the second summer in a row, Edgar is part of the Ted R. Lilley Cancer CURE Internship Program, which pairs talented and motivated high school students with OHSU research faculty mentors. This summer, Edgar is working with his research mentor, Jared Fischer, Ph.D., in Molecular & Medical Genetics. In Dr. Fischer's lab, Edgar is studying the effects of different concentrations of chemotherapeutic drugs on colon cancer in order to find the best concentration to use on patients with colon cancer.

To learn more about the CURE program, contact David Martinez, Manager of Student Recruitment and Retention.

Posted on July 8, 2014. Write-up by Naod Aynalem. Photo by Maileen Hamto.