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David Arroyo

David Arroyo
Class of 2010
Neurobiology

Here, experiencing new things is accepted and encouraged….Being in Berkeley has helped me progress as a scientist like never before and grow as a person in the same way.

Coming from a small town named Ututado in Puerto Rico’s mountains, I never pictured myself at a world-class institution. One day, though, I opened my eyes and I was an MCB PhD student at UC Berkeley. Before arriving in Berkeley, I went to college in Puerto Rico and worked in a Microbiology lab. My project there involved assaying a bacterial strain for tolerance to different stress conditions. I also had the opportunity to visit Harvard University for a summer where I studied expression of sex-related genes using birds and reptiles as models.

After trying out different fields I realized that those experiences were great, but I was looking for something different. I found in Berkeley the best place to learn new things. Here, experiencing new things is accepted and encouraged! Now I work in the Feller lab, using the retina to study the circuits that underlie visual processing and how these circuits develop. So far, I have been focused on gap junction network dynamics and their interaction with cholinergic activity during development of the retina. Trying to uncover how the visual system is capable of using neuronal circuits to create the images we perceive is something I definitely want to be part of.

Life outside of lab is possible here! In the bay area there’s always something to do. In such a diverse community the opportunity to learn about other cultures, meet all kinds of people, and try new things is there all the time. I spend most of my free time playing sports, from basketball to kayaking. But, when I feel like adventuring into something new I just need to step out of my door. Being in Berkeley has helped me progress as a scientist like never before and grow as a person in the same way.

Undergraduate University: University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez