(Aug. 28, 2019) -- The acceptance rate for MIT is 7.9%. That’s less than one in 10 students who apply and get in. Yet, Favour Obuseh, a junior this fall at UTSA, managed to snag a prestigious research internship position at the highly competitive institution.
He’s in good company. After all, MIT was home to the founders of Dropbox, graduated astronaut Buzz Aldrin, educated heads of state including Kofi Anan and even trained the next generation of female scientists such as Katie Bouman—the brain behind the CHIRP algorithm that captured the first image of a black hole.
This summer, the UTSA student walked the same Cambridge hallways where those pioneers honed their skills.
“From day one, I was intimidated by the level of intelligence exhibited by the members of the Niles Lab,” recalls Obuseh about how nerves got the better of him on the first time he entered the MIT laboratory this summer. “Initially, I forgot how to pipette, and I couldn't do basic dilution calculations.”
However, Obuseh credits Khan Osman, his MIT research mentor, as the rock that allowed him to regain his perspective and believe that he had the capabilities to succeed.
“Favour’s youthfulness and energy brought smiles on all of us, from the first day he joined our lab,” said Osman. “His enthusiasm was contagious and his curiosity helped solve some of the key problems of the project.”
At MIT, Obuseh tapped the research experience he gained in a UTSA biomedical engineering lab, where he worked on solutions to help with bone tissue regeneration by building blood vessels in scaffolds. The acceptance of the MIT challenge and his own training at UTSA allowed him to stay grounded during his hands-on East Coast internship.
He worked a wide array of proteins that are thought to ensure the survival of Plasmodium Falciparum during its parasitic life cycle. Plasmodium Falciparum, the deadliest human malaria-causing parasite, utilizes various proteins that are hard to express and have unknown functions. Obuseh’s examined different protein expression systems and performed initial experiments to biophysically characterize the proteins.
“We have successfully expressed two P. falciparum proteins and begun defining their thermal stability profiles which can potentially be used to screen for small molecule binding for these two P. falciparum proteins,” he said. “The progress we made in this research will bring us closer to understanding the functions of these proteins and potentially identify a novel antimalarial drug.”
This UTSA student is grateful for his MIT experience.
“Moving out of your comfort zone is always essential for growth. How well one can adapt to a different research and learning environment says a lot about your ability to collaborate,” said Obuseh.
Today, he’s back on our campus and ready to take on the fall semester. He will resume his research role in the laboratory of the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, Eric Brey, working on tissue engineering. Obuseh will also pursue additional outreach efforts in San Antonio as the new president of the Biomedical Engineering Society at UTSA.
“I’m really grateful to God for the MIT experience. Also, for UTSA. Here, I have professors and peers that genuinely care for my success,” said Obuseh. “Now that the MIT summer research program is over, I could see myself going back there to pursue my Ph.D.”
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Emerging artists work in the full range of traditional methods and materials as well as in interdisciplinary and new media. Themes range from social and cultural critique to investigations that are challenging and exquisite explorations in creative form and image.UTSA Art Gallery, Arts Building, Main Campus
Juan Vallejo’s art conveys his experience as a childhood migrant worker. Opening reception: Thurs, Dec. 5, 6–9 p.m. Free and open to the public.UTSA Terminal 136, Blue Star Arts Complex, 136 Blue St., San Antonio
Portions of Cook Road will be closed for construction related to the new Student Success Center project and Americans with Disabilities Act sidewalk upgrades.Cook Road, Main Campus
Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. A remarkable true experience, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. UTSA partners with The Public Theater for this event. Contact the theater at (210) 458-3288 for scheduling requests.Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus
Forty-six modular units will be delivered to Main Campus as part of the new Student Success Center project. The units will enter campus at Brennan Avenue and will travel to their final destination, south of the North Paseo Building and Graduate School and Research Building via Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road and Devine Avenue.Brennan Avenue, Tobin Avenue, Bauerle Road, Devine Avenue, Main Campus
Enjoy two classic holiday performances. Children’s Ballet of San Antonio will present two of The Nutcracker. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church will perform a traditional Pastorela play, a morality tale about shepherds going to Bethlehem and the snares the devil uses to dissuade them. Performances are included with regular ITC admission.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio
Celebrating graduating students from the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Guest speaker: Susan Pape '86, chairman of the San Antonio Express-News.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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