I spent a large portion of my career at BSU in Dr. Adams’s lab and can definitely say that the experience contributed to my current success.
Adam Perez, ’21, always knew he wanted to help people, which is why he chose to study biology at Bridgewater State University to one day become a medical doctor.
While he was pursuing that goal, however, another path was revealed.
As an undergraduate researcher at BSU, Perez discovered he thinks like a scientist, which is why after graduation he relocated to North Carolina to work as a research associate at Tavros Technologies to help find a cure for cancer.
“At the end of the day, I love taking care of people and making a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Whether that’s working as a doctor or helping to fight cancer, I know I am achieving that goal.”
Perez uses genetic screening platforms to identify genes that increase a cancer’s susceptibility to treatment. The goal is to develop drugs that can exploit those genes.
“I’ll be involved in all aspects of the process, but for now, I’m mainly focused on supporting drug discovery efforts,” he said.
While at BSU, Perez took classes with associated labs that helped build a technical foundation for what he’s doing now. He also performed Alzheimer’s research from a cell and molecular perspective, where he learned techniques beyond those taught in class.
“At Tavros, I have already utilized the direct skills I learned,” he said. “Yet, I think the most important skill I learned is to think like a scientist and ask the important questions required to complete projects.”
Perez first attended a larger institution, where his introductory chemistry class course had nearly 100 students. When he transferred to BSU, one of the first things that stood out to him were the smaller class sizes. While Perez believes students can achieve success in both environments, for him, the smaller classes were preferred.
“I liked the smaller class sizes and the ability to develop connections with faculty,” he said.
One of those connections was with biology professor, Dr. Kenneth Adams.
“I spent a large portion of my career at BSU in Dr. Adams’s lab and can definitely say that the experience contributed to my current success,” Perez said.
Adams said it means the world to him to hear he had a hand in helping his former student.
“Adam is an ideal example of a student who just needed someone to open the door for them so that they could walk through to achieve their goals,” Adams said. “He made teaching seem deceivingly easy due to his ability to consume, process, and apply information and concepts.”
While balancing school and preparing for his future as a scientist, Perez was also employed full-time at Brewster Ambulance, working two 24-hours shifts a week.
This proved to be particularly challenging during COVID, yet he rose to the challenge, and did what he loves best – taking care of people.
With his busy schedule, Perez admits that it sometimes meant sacrificing experiences he may otherwise had at BSU, but said he has no regrets, believing that everyone’s path to success is different.
“It doesn’t matter how fast you get there, as long as you keep moving,” he said. “I think everything works out for the best in the end.”
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