People \\ 2010 Program Participant
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Marcus Najera - NanoJapan 2010
North West Vista College
Degree: Associate in Applied Science in Nanotechnology and Associate of Science in Biology
Anticipated Graduation: May 2010
University of Texas, San Antonio
Majors: Biomedical Engineering & Physics with minor in Nanotechnology
Anticipated Graduation: May 2012

NJ Research Lab: Osaka Institute of Technology, Prof. Sasa & Prof. Inoue

Alumni Update
>> NanoJapan 2010 Participant Marcus Najera Receives Undergraduate Fellowship & Conference Award (11/2010)

Marcus Najera (NJ 2010), a Biomedical Engineering & Physics student at the University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA) has been selected as a recipient of UTSA's MARC U*STAR Award. The Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research Award is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS) and provides the training needed by students to enter and succeed in doctoral studies (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) Positions are available for outstanding Junior/Senior level (preferably with two years remaining prior to graduation) biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, computer science or engineering majors. All MARC participants take part in a variety of activities that build their credentials for doctoral program entry and help them to succeed once they are there. They perform original scientific research at UTSA and at a summer internship at top research institutions around the country. They present their research findings at scientific meetings. They take courses to strengthen themselves in their field and in the biosciences, and participate in activities to strengthen themselves personally and professionally. Finally, they are introduced to a broad range of scientific disciplines and are provided with networking opportunities with representatives of some of the nation's top research universities. Benefits include an academic year stipend, tuition support, conference travel grant, and summer research internship stipend for housing and living costs.

Marcus also received received a 2010 Student Presentation Award in Chemical Sciences for the presentation of his NanoJapan research poster at the 2010 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Marcus' NanoJapan research focused was conducted at the Osaka Institute of Tecnology under the advisement of Shigehiko Sasa and focused on the "Integration of ZnO Nanorod Biosensor with Field-Effect Transistor". Held in Charlotte, North Carolina from November 10-13, 2010 the ABRCMS conference is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including mathematics and provide faculty mentors and advisors with resources for facilitating students’ success.

>> Learn More About the UTSA MARC*U-STAR Award
>> Learn More About ABRCMS

Why NanoJapan?
The 2010 Summer NanoJapan Program intrigued me not only because of its opportunity for me delve further into Nanotech research, but also because of the prospect to do so on an international level. International research has allowed science and technology to grow exponentially. The infancy of nanotechnology and its demand for global collaboration makes the NanoJapan program invaluable for anyone trying to establish a leadership role in nanotechnology. The program provides a unique way to grow in terms of academics while allowing students to immerse themselves in a different culture. Being placed into a research experience while living in Japan will provide growth intellectually as well philosophically. Interaction and exploration of novel nanotechnology research with pioneers of field will be an incredible opportunity and I hope to build bonds with my fellow NanoJapan interns and research host lab, which may yield further collaboration in the future.

I look forward to taking full advantage of the NanoJapan opportunity and plan to fully immerse myself into the Japanese culture. It is my goal to do my best to make meaningful relationships and I look forward to interacting with and learning from my fellow NanoJapan participants and my Japanese lab mates. Finally, I am very eager to experience new food, music, and to travel to many cities and epic sites such as Mt. Fuji. Through these experiences I hope to gain insight, which will allow me to see my home country, education, and research from the perspective of another country.

As research continues to grow internationally it is important to provide methods for nanoscientists, engineers, physicists and others involved in the STEM discipline to collaborate on global level. I know this experience will change my life forever and it is my greatest hope that one day I will be in a position to payback the nanotechnology, engineering, and physics community by opening new doors and offering new pathways en route of international education to other students like myself.

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