Antonio Cembellin Prieto

Tell us about your major.

Biotechnology is the application of technology and biological sources to meet human needs. That’s why I like biotech – because it will have a huge impact on human life in the future, mostly through two of the biggest applicable areas for biotechnology: agriculture and pharmaceuticals.

The major has courses mostly in biology and chemistry. My favorite courses have been microbiology, medical microbiology, and immunology. Currently, I am in a course called Protein Expression and Purification and I really like it.

You’ve been able to research some pretty cool things. How did that come about?

I met my faculty lab advisor because a friend on the tennis team introduced me to a professor who needed lab help. We had a great conversation, and I followed up with an email asking if I could get some experience working in his lab. He said yes, but it wasn’t because of my grades. It was because I was interested in doing more.

I’ve been working with him since May of my sophomore year and I spend about an hour a day in the lab. Our research is focused on designing antibiotics. We are making non-broad range antibiotics for bacterial infections, and my professor has applied for two U.S. patents for our work. Because I made some of the modifications on the project, my name is on one of the patent applications.