2014 CURE Intern: Efren Alonso Cid

Cid_Efren_1_150Efren Alonso Cid has dreamt of working in the medical field since he was a child. He moved from Mexico with his family when he was a young child. He is motivated to work hard toward his dream of one day matriculating into medical school.

And Efren is well on his way toward achieving his aspiration. For the second year in a row, has been selected to take part in the OHSU Ted R. Lilley Cancer CURE Internship Program.

"I want to be familiar with the forces that influence one's well-being and study to understand what can truly be done with modern medicine," he says.

In the fall, Efren will be a freshman at Oregon State University, where he plans to earn a bachelor's degree in Biology. He knows that he the journey to medical school is long and arduous, but he says he is prepared to make necessary sacrifices to achieve his ultimate goal: to become either a surgeon or a pediatrician.

"I am a hard-worker and I am committed to learning. I will be studying Biology in college, to help prepare me for the rigor of medical school. My family has taught me to bring out the best in everything I do, no matter how small the task," he says.

Throughout his academic career at Sunset High School, Efren has made good grades, especially in the sciences. He has received multiple awards, including recognition for outstanding academics, community service, and academic growth. He has consistently made it to the Honor Roll. Moreover, Efren also has been actively involved in various activities, including Speech & Debate club, French Club and Latinos Unidos. He also tutors a group of students in 4th and 5th grades as a teacher's assistant at a local elementary school. Efren is interested in possibly continuing his community service after medical school, and travel the world with volunteer programs such as the Peace Corps.

This summer, Efren is working alongside his research mentor Amanda McCullough, Ph.D., in the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. He is working on a project that is looking into the effect of formaldehyde on cancerous cells as a method of treatment. The laboratory exposure through his OHSU internship is critical to helping Efren improve his skills.

"I have learned many different techniques and skills that are useful in a wet lab. Most importantly, I have learned to be patient even when you don't get the results you were looking for," he says. "Getting a first-hand look at how research is carried out made me realize that I have to keep an open mind on career options. You never know where your education might take you."

Interested in finding out more about the CURE program? Email David Martinez, Manager of Student Recruitment and Retention.

Posted on July 10, 2014. Write-up by Naod Aynalem. Photo by Maileen Hamto.