Margarito Hernandez Fuentes
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Graduation date: Spring 2022
Additional details: First-generation college student
FURI | Fall 2021
Assaying the Effect of Knock-Down of Ubiquitin-Specific Proteases in Malignant Pleural MesotheliomaMalignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but aggressive cancer that resides in the pleural space surrounding the lungs. While treatment options are available, the median survival rate for MPM remains poor. Biological processes, such as ubiquitination, are known to influence protein and cell function. Hence, this research initiative examines cell proliferation and cell apoptosis in MPM by knock-down of ubiquitin-specific protease genes through lentiviral transduction. The shRNA molecules used for transduction have been designed and used in silencing the intended target gene. Upon completion, this research will provide newer methods of treatment for pleural mesothelioma.
Mentor: Christopher Plaisier
Featured project | Fall 2021
Margarito Hernandez Fuentes is a biomedical engineering senior researching gene therapies for cancer in Assistant Professor Christopher Plaisier’s lab. Hernandez Fuentes says he has always been in awe of the lab environment and thinks researchers look so cool in their lab coats. Now that his research dream has become a reality, he is excited to share about his FURI experience.
Why did you choose the project you’re working on?
I chose to work on cancer biology research because I am interested in the wet lab aspect of bioengineering. The thought of using engineering to solve critical health issues never fails to excite me. I am especially interested in using bioengineering approaches to solve health disparities. With my research project, I hope to do just that.
How will your engineering research project impact the world?
Pleural mesothelioma is a malignant cancer with a grim survival rate. Current treatment options are insufficient and come with devastating effects. My research project aims to find alternative treatment options by inhibiting the growth of the cancer through gene silencing. With my research, I hope to move one step closer to revolutionizing cancer treatment and provide better outcomes for patients struggling with this disease.
What has been your most memorable experience as a student researcher?
One memorable experience was finally being able to see so many concepts and techniques I learned in class being used in my research lab. It was exciting learning so many new lab techniques and being able to understand their role in my experiment.
How do you see this experience helping you with your advanced degree goals?
As an aspiring physician-scientist, this experience will prepare me to tackle research questions from an engineering approach. With a background in bioengineering, I see myself approaching health issues through a new lens. In addition, I am more than certain that the lab techniques learned from this experience will be used consistently through my pursuit of a graduate degree.
, this experience will prepare me to tackle research questions from an engineering approach. With a background in bioengineering, I see myself approaching health issues through a new lens. In addition, I am more than certain that the lab techniques learned from this experience will be used consistently through my pursuit of a graduate degree.
Why should other students get involved in this program?
For undergraduates looking to gain any experience in research, the FURI program is the best way to do just that. While students are more than able to conduct research outside of FURI, this program dedicates its resources and mentors to hone students’ research and presentation skills.