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I Am a Researcher

adrian with research poster.JPGAdrian Arciniega

Major(s): Neurobiology

College: Revelle

UC San Diego graduation year: 2024

Which research programs/experiences have you been a part of (Names and Dates)? RMTL Winter Bootcamp (December 2022), Genentech Scholars Summer Research Program (July-August 2023), MADURA Program (September 2022-Present)

What are you researching (or did you do in the past)?  Mitochondrial bioenergetics and healthy aging 

Why and how did you decide to get involved in undergraduate research? I became interested in aging research due to firsthand experiences with the aging process. The impact of having an older father sparked my curiosity as to what aging really was, motivating me to seek a deeper understanding of aging.  I was accepted into a mentorship for aging research program (MADURA) and was placed in a lab that investigates the healthy aging process.

What has been the most exciting/interesting thing you've discovered through your research?  Coming into the aging field I thought of aging as some kind of ticking clock that ends with poor health and disease. I have come to learn that the aging process can be measured and that it is more than a biological clock I previously thought of it to be. The process can be prolonged in a healthy way under correct treatment and care. The effects of aging can be measured with many readings ranging from cognitive function to gait speed and can be used to provide support to an aging individual.

adrian with research poster 2 What did you gain from this program/experience? I gained the skill to troubleshoot problems that can't be fixed with a google search. For most of my problems prior to my research experience, I could go to office hours or watch a youtube video. But what I quickly came to realize is that some of the problems in the wet lab cannot be simply fixed with a few hours of searching. Some of these problems require time and constant reference of research articles and communication between other labs who have done similar work.


What advice would you give to students starting research? There will be a grinding period that every student will face. This period is necessary and sufficient for the high quality work you will produce. However, it is important to clearly set boundaries and discuss goals to meet in your own lab setting. Whether it be a goal of making your own poster, preparing a lab presentation, or having your own publication. Being clear about your intentions will help you in more ways than you know.

What are your future plans?  My future plans involve specializing as a geriatrician with a focus on enhancing the representation of diverse populations in research and improving the treatment of age-related diseases. I am passionate about addressing healthcare disparities in older communities and promoting inclusive and effective care for all seniors.