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Monday, June 18, 2018

ACC Student Earns Research Internship

Learning how to conduct research is a vital skill for any student intending to pursue a career in the medical field.

Alvin Community College student Belen Torres plans to hone her research abilities after receiving the  Research Experience for Community College Students internship with Rice University.

“After I was chosen as an intern, I was ecstatic,” Torres said. “I knew that this was a huge opportunity for me because I get to work with research professors and absorb as much knowledge as I can about their research.”

Torres is in the process of transferring from ACC to Texas A&M University where she will double major in Biochemistry and Mathematics. Once she finishes her Bachelor’s degree she plans to enroll in the University of Texas Medical Branch medical school.

The internship is offered through Rice University’s Office of STEM Engagement and includes a $6,000 stipend for 10 weeks of independent research in several fields including chemistry, biology, physics, bioengineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, and electrical engineering. Participants will work alongside with several Rice University researchers.

Torres will also have an opportunity to present her research during a conference at the end of the summer.

She chose to participate in a study centering on cancer treatment.

“One of the research projects was reprogramming viruses to kill cancer cells,” Torres said. “I really wanted to be a part of that research project because it really hits home for me. I’ve had several people in my family suffer from cancer and I think that this research will save millions of lives one day.”

The research skills Torres will learn during the internship will prepare her for her future career in the medical field.

“This internship will help me have a better understanding of how the body works down to a molecular level,” she said. “Which will in turn help me understand how everything in the body works together. I could also use the research I will be doing this summer to conduct my own in the future. This research is the future of medicine and I am honored to be a part of it.”

To learn more about the program, visit

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