Undergraduate Research Program

Antonio Cortez

Antonio smiling in LabMajor: Pre-major (intended Biology)
Mentor: Department of Otolaryngology

Contact: tonypony@uw.edu

Current research project: Examing the Vestibular Synapses in Adult Mice






Antonio grew up in a small rural town in eastern Washington called Prosser. Growing up no kids were ever encouraged to pursue STEM. This barrier stifled his dreams of becoming active in science due to the severe lack of opportunities. Luckily he found a summer program at the University of Washington for freshman entering the UW in the fall and through this program he was first introduced to research. He fell in love with the work and is now more dedicated than ever to pursue a career in STEM.

Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
As a GenOM ALVA intern during the summer of 2019, Antonio worked in the Stone Lab in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. The aim of his research was to examine vestibular synapses in normal adult mice to validate maturity. He immunolabeled and confocally photographed many vestibular organs (utricles) from adult mice to validate findings in an ongoing research paper that achieved puzzling results. In the future, Tony is planning to continue working in the Stone Lab, explore other fields of research and pursue medical school for an MD/PhD program.

When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I got involved in research the summer of 2019 before entering as a freshman at UW. I got involved because due to my environment I never had a chance to experience the joys of research.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?