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Story in the College of Arts & Sciences

Ozorowski photo

Gabe Ozorowski '06

Ph.D. student at UC Irvine
At a glance:

Alumnus' experience researching the causes of cancer at SCU urges him to join research in the biotech field.

Gabe Ozorowski started out at Santa Clara University thinking he wanted to become a doctor. But working in the lab of Associate Biology Professor Ángel Islas showed him how exciting research can be. Currently earning his Ph.D. in the biological sciences at UC Irvine, Ozorowski plans to work after graduation as a research scientist for a biotech company.

"Many students are drawn to the medical profession because it is the most visible growing up," Ozorowski says. "The longer I worked in the lab, the more I realized that this might be the right career choice for me."

In Professor Islas's lab, Ozorowski worked to understand the enzymes that repair DNA damage. The research contributes to our understanding of the causes of cancer.

"In the lab I learned many important biotech skills, especially in the fields of protein and DNA biochemistry," he says. "Also, I had a chance to do some cell tissue culture and learn proper sterile technique."

Ozorowski continues to expand medical understanding of diseases. Today, he's researching his doctoral thesis in structural biology and molecular biophysics, using x-ray crystallography to analyze the structure of certain proteins.

"Many diseases are caused by the activity—or lack thereof—of proteins, so the structures can be used to design novel drugs," he says.

Watch a video about research in SCU's biology labs below.

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