Barcelos speaking to the press, with Genes in Space advisor Liss O'Connell looking on
Harvard Medical wants Dylan Barcelos, but not as a student (at least, not yet): he’s going to work with Harvard associates to be a researcher. The Diman junior will spend the summer working with The Harvard Medical/Dana Farber CURE Program, where he will be researching cancer and cancer treatments.
Barcelos, a rising senior in the Electronics program, will have a paid internship this summer in the labs at Boston Children’s Hospital. At the hospital he will be working alongside Harvard Professors/mentors and researchers to work on understanding the genetic causes of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia to improve treatment for patients.
If all goes well, Barcelos will be considered to work on his research through the CURE Program for two more years. Barcelos is very interested in using this once in a lifetime opportunity to network with Diman’s Cooperative Education Program so that he can dedicate allotted shop time into his cancer research.
“They liked my ideas about cancer research” explained Barcelos. “I went up and interviewed in Boston and I felt like I was prepared for all the questions they asked.”
He was among approximately 250 applicants (including college students) for 25 positions.
“I was nervous and quite skeptical about my chances, especially since some of the people I was up against were college students who were majoring in biology and chemistry,” he said. “I felt like I was the underdog because there were plenty of people who were more qualified than I am.”
Barcelos was probably helped by his past science work at Diman. He has been an integral part of Diman’s Genes in Space team, which has travelled to both San Diego and Washington DC to speak to scientists from NASA and elsewhere, as well as politicians and other power brokers.
“Participating in Genes in Space was a big help,” said Barcelos. “It exposed me to research and to mentors in the field who have high status, and were able to help me with the application process. The research that inspired me with the Harvard Medical/Dana Farber CURE Program had similar concepts as my Genes in Space research. My research there was about drug resistance, so I wrote about drug resistance with cancer in my CURE application.”
“There’s a lot of opportunities there, and this could be a really big event in my life.” He grinned. “It’s going to help me make connections, learn new skills, and hopefully help when it’s time for college acceptances.”
Barcelos wants to major in biochemistry in college, and strives to become a physician scientist specializing in Oncology with an MD/PhD. “In preparation for college, I’m going to take chemistry classes at BCC through Diman’s Dual Enrollment, and AP Chemistry through Virtual High School,” he said.
It is a life dream for Barcelos to obtain his degree at Harvard College, but with an acceptance rate of only 5%, he must work hard to increase his chances.
“I think this opportunity will help a lot with college acceptances … to have worked at a prestigious institution and then hopefully continue to work there, I think that’ll make a big impact.”