Most teens spend their summer working a part-time job at the mall or restaurant, happy to earn a bit of spending money.
Novato teen Matt Aguirre spent his working alongside researchers at the Buck Institute, where he was part of a lab studying tumor formation in lung cancer.
The St. Vincent’s High School grad was one of a handful of the facility’s Summer Scholars, a program that nurtures a new generation of scientists and researchers. Aguirre worked with Buck scientist Arvind Ramanathan who studies the impact of environmental toxins on aging and got a front-row seat to the cutting edge research.
He did so well he was asked to come back after the summer, delving into research of the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR). The receptor exists in every cell and binds to numerous environmental pollutants.
“It was a great opportunity for me to get a taste of what lab-based science is like,” said,.
Aguirre, who worked at Buck during his “gap year” between high school and college, is now at Harvard where is studying biomedical engineering. And he’s already made connections with Dr. Ramanathan’s colleagues, meaning the future looks bright for this Novato kid.
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