Scholar of the Week

Raul Membreno      
University of Texas at San Antonio

Raul is a junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio majoring in Biology and a recipient of the Davila/Trevino Memorial Scholarship.

The son of Nicaraguan and Salvadorian refugee parents who moved to Costa Rica at age seventeen to escape communism and earn a living wage, Raul was born in Costa Rica and moved to Texas when he was seven years old. Growing up in a city with a Latino mayor and getting involved in the National Hispanic Institute gave Raul a deep appreciation for Latino values of hard work and strength in the family. Raul attended middle school and high school in San Antonio, Texas and graduated in the top 3% of his graduating class of San Antonio Christian High School. In the summer prior to his senior year of high school, he spent his time shadowing surgical residents at University Hospital in San Antonio, and over the course of three months, became deeply interested in medicine.

Raul continued with his interest in medicine and was accepted into the seven year highly competitive BS/MD program, Facilitated Acceptance into Medical Education (FAME) at the University of Texas at San Antonio, which only admits 20 high performing students per year. Raul was admitted to the program based not only on his GPA and SAT scores, but also on non-academic factors such as writing skills, performance in face-to-face interviews, personal experiences, maturity, professionalism, leadership abilities, and external letters of recommendation. He has been an exceptional student leader within the FAME program and was elected by his peers to serve as the first president of the FAME student organization. Raul was also instrumental in establishing a student-organized seminar series that has invited medical professionals to campus to talk about their work and issues related to the medical profession. Raul plans to enroll in the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) School of Medicine in the fall 2016.

Professional aspirations have evolved into a hybrid of pure laboratory science, surgery and clinical work. Raul has developed a keen interest in medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical drug synthesis. Upon graduation from UTHSCSA, Raul plans on taking a three-year hiatus from his medical career to pursue a PhD in medicinal chemistry. His dream is to work for Pfizer and serve at the forefront of drug discovery in order to place more potent and efficacious drugs on the market. He hopes to find a cure for HIV.

Raul believes that a STEM leader must be able to compete amongst the most qualified candidates for jobs and maintain that capacity in order to realize his or her goals. He hopes to serve as a role model for other Latinos to join the exciting field of science. As a future physician scientist, he will have all the tools necessary to work towards finding cures for diseases and encourage other like-minded Latino students to the same.

A truly ambitious and driven student, Raul has a very bright future in attaining his dreams in the medical profession. As a recipient of the Davila/Trevino Memorial Scholarship class of 2015, Raul is already a role model in STEM.

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