Samuel Escobar — the URECA researcher of the month for January 2022 — was in the University Scholars program at Stony Brook University and recently graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology from the College of Arts and Sciences. His substantive involvement in research as an undergraduate was supported by several key programs. Escobar participated in a four-week pre-freshman program in the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and in his freshman year, he participated in the INSPIRE/Include New Students through a Peer Introduction to Research Experience program. In spring semester of his freshman year, Escobar arranged to do research with Assistant Professor Benjamin Martin from the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology during Summer 2019 as a participant in the PSEG-Explorations in STEM program, a 10-week summer research program co-administered by the Career Center and URECA.
Escobar continued doing research in the Martin Lab for the rest of his undergraduate years, and was one of two 2021 URECA summer program applicants to be awarded the Chhabra-URECA Fellowship, an award that provides funding for summer research and recognizes students with a passion for research. His work on “Cell Cycle Regulation Modulates Tail-Bud Morphogenesis in Zebrafish” involves using an R software script to design hybridization chain reaction probes for genes of interest. Escobar will be presenting this research at the Spring ’22 URECA poster symposium.
When asked about his research experience, Escobar said, “if you’re considering doing research, just try it out! You might regret not doing it. That’s why I picked Stony Brook. I always tell people, the price for what you’re getting here is insane. I was able to get this awesome research experience, which has been super valuable to me, and to have great mentors.”
On campus, Escobar has served as a teaching assistant, vice president of the Latino Medical Student Association Plus+, and a Center for Prevention and Outreach Red Watch Band intern. He volunteers with Good Samaritan Hospital, the NOSH Soup Kitchen and the Eastern Farm Workers Association. During May 2020 to May 2021, Escobar was employed as a contact tracer with the New York Department of Health and is currently employed as a medical scribe with Long Island Urgent Care in West Babylon and Manorville, NY, where he aids in performing intake questions, as well as translation of medical explanations for Spanish-speaking patients. Escobar plans to apply to medical school programs in the next year. He is a first-generation college student from Deer Park, NY.