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Discovering a love for biosciences in a UTSA laboratory

Discovering a love for biosciences in a UTSA laboratory

CLASS OF 2019


Dec. 27, 2019 — Roots were planted for UTSA biochemistry major Alejandra Lorenzen’s future before she was even born. Living in Mexico, her parents knew moving to the United States would bring better opportunities for their family.

A few months before Lorenzen was born, her parents packed up their belongings and settled in McAllen. By the time she reached seventh grade, her family had moved to San Antonio, where her love for science began to bloom while attending Harmony Science Academy. 


“I saw a lot of promise at UTSA, especially when it came to doing research.”

ALEJANDRA LORENZEN



When it was time to apply for college, Lorenzen was accepted to several schools across Texas, but she chose to stay in her hometown and attend UTSA. 

“I saw a lot of promise at UTSA, especially when it came to doing research,” Lorenzen recalled. 

She was accepted into the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement-2, a training program designed to enhance opportunities for underrepresented students in science. She’s spent the past 2.5 years working in Soo Chan Lee’s laboratory at the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at UTSA researching mucor, a drug-resistant fungus found all over the world that is harmful to humans with low immune systems. 

“My passion is to find solutions to problems and help others along the way,” Lorenzen said. 

Through RISE’s support, Lorenzen also landed an internship at the University of Rochester Medical School in New York the summer of 2018 where she researched the causes of rare eye diseases in Tingting Yang’s laboratory. 

“My education at UTSA had laid down the foundation and opened my eyes to different research opportunities I can explore in my future,” she said. 

While continuing her education and research, Lorenzen also juggled family responsibilities. That didn’t stop her drive to finish her education in 4.5 years. 

As she prepares to graduate this month, Lorenzen is grateful for her experiences at UTSA. She is currently applying to biophysics Ph.D. programs with the dream of one day working in industry or government. 

“I love UTSA,” she said, “and I’m glad I chose to stay in my hometown. As the university grows, the value of my degree will only grow too over time.”


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