Over the past year, Rafael Montero realized he is more interested in disease prevention rather than treating patients after getting sick.
“I am interested in biomedical and clinical research as a career path because, through it, I would be able to work towards preventing disease. Furthermore, I am particularly interested in research that also addresses health disparities within health care, since marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by disease,” says Rafael when asked about his career goal.
Rafael’s research project — made possible through an AGA-funded fellowship — evaluates the treatment rates among Asian American, Black and Latino patients in different clinical settings in order to understand the treatment gaps within groups with high incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV). This research will provide a minority-focused perspective regarding non-treatment issues in clinics and how to solve them.
“Many infection-driven cancers can be prevented. This sparked my interest for biomedical and clinical research. The research funding I received helped in my professional development and will serve as a catalyst for my future endeavors,” says Rafael.
Rafael’s journey like those of other undergraduate students shows the importance of growing the investigators pipeline.
With contributions raised through the AGA Giving Day campaign, the AGA Research Foundation will fund projects that provide undergraduate students with exposure to GI research careers.
Be part of AGA Giving Day (Oct. 26).