(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.
Rosie Castro is an American civil rights activist and educator from San Antonio who has been invovled in prominent groups like the Young Democrats of America, the Mexican American Youth Organization, the Committee for Barrio Betterment and La Raza Unida Party. She is the mother of former presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Joaquín Castro.Virtual Event
In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, the book for this month will explore issues of Latinx identity, diversity, equity, student success and social justice. Weekly sessions will include guest speakers and virtual discussions. The club will be reading "Redeeming La Raza: Transborder Modernity, Race, Respectability, and Rights" by UTSA professor Dr. Gabriela González.Virtual Event
Organized by faculty and staff from the College for Health, Community and Policy, the third Texas Latino Policy Symposium convenes academics, practitioners and activists from across the state to engage in discussions that examin the need of our Latino population and the impact of COVID-19 in Texas. The goal of this symposium is to formulate policy responses to propose to the Texas legislature that redress the disproportionate lasting impact the pandemic has had on Latino families.Virtual Event
This panel will discuss hispanic serving institutions and their role in serving students and their communities. Sandra Garza, PhD,, assistant professor and coordinator of the Mexican American Studies Program at Northwest Vista College; Paul J. Rodriguez, Ed.D., project director for PIVOT for Academic Success at UTSA; Erin E. Doran, Ed.D., assistant professor of higher education at Iowa State University; Andres Puente, sports marketing major at UTSA and Lilianna Saldaña, PhD., associate professor and program coordinator for the UTSA Mexican American Studies Program will be a part of the panel.Virtual Event
Join Excelencia in Education online for the national announcement of the 2020 Examples of Excelencia. Selected programs in colleges, universities and community-based organizations across the country will be recognized for their positive impact on Latino student success.Virtual Event
All students and employees are able to get their flu shot and other vaccines at the Main Campus from October 6 to 7 and at the Downtown Campus on October 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the clinic and the influenza virus, visit the Roadrunner Return page.Denman Room (SU 2.01.28)
In this gathering hosted by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, attendees will discuss the potential role restorative justice has in anti-racism work. The event will also focus on how people of color persevere in hyper racialized white systems.Virtual Event
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.