Meet Amgen Scholars Alumni Joel Orlando Hernández Ramos
Host University: The University of Tokyo
Home University: Tecnológico de Monterrey
Amgen Scholar Year: 2018
Expected Graduation: December 2019
Journey to Science
How did you become interested in science?
Ever since I was a little kid I was interested in science and thought of becoming a scientist. However, it wasn’t until high school that I realized what biotechnology is and that I wanted to major in that field. I became interested by attending a college talk at my current university about all the majors they offer. Ever since that moment, I started seeking extracurricular courses to learn more about biotechnology and to start gaining knowledge about it.
Academic and Professional Ambitions
What’s the larger significance of your Amgen Scholars research? What’s your ultimate career goal?
Ever since I started my major, I was involved in research activities at my Home University which helped me gain a perspective of what I would like to study during my graduate school. I would love to develop industrial research in neuroscience. Nevertheless, in my community, the research is focused on a different field. Therefore, the Amgen Scholars experience gave me the opportunity to have my first ever approach to neuroscience and stem cell culture. In this sense, Amgen Scholars helped me reaffirm my goals.
Why did you apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?
I applied for the Amgen Scholars Program because I knew that having an international experience would help me gain a broader vision of the science and technology that is being developed in a totally different country than mine. Also, the program was a big opportunity to develop a summer project at a top university and ultimately it meant gaining laboratory experience in a field I am really interested in.
What aspect of the program did you enjoy most?
There are two aspects that I loved during my Amgen Scholars program. First, I really enjoyed the fact that my host laboratory made me feel part of it. It was an incredible opportunity for me to realize how a graduate degree works. During my time there, I felt as if I was studying there as I had similar responsibilities; I had to attend and participate in lab meetings, journal clubs, individual meetings, lab cleaning and even department events. Secondly, I am grateful for the friends I was able to meet in the program and inside the laboratory.