Jorge Torres is a pre-medical track student working towards a B.S. in Biological Sciences and member of the Tiny Earth Lab, researching antibiotic producing bacteria found in the soil. He is also a member of the Soar-in-4 program that provides high-achieving students research opportunities, mentorship, and much more.
Why did you decide to come to FAU and choose a degree program in science?
I was attracted to the campus facilities and impressed by the cultural diversity. It has been a very fun journey. I was first introduced to the Tiny Earth Lab by a fellow student and with the help of my mentor, Dr. Evonne Rezler, who helped me join Tiny Earth in the Spring of 2021. At first it was a lot to take in as I did not have any formal research experience, but with the help of my fellow researchers and guidance from the lab’s director, Dr. Diane Baronas-Lowell, I quickly learned many valuable skills that helped me succeed in the lab and in my classes.
What type of research are you performing alongside Dr. Diane Baronas-Lowell?
I am performing antibiotic discovery research. The goal of this research is to discover antibiotic producing bacteria from the soil, educate students about the antibiotic crisis, and to engage in original scientific research.
What is your interest in this type of research?
I chose the Tiny Earth Lab because I want to bring awareness to the antibiotic resistance crisis. I believe that bacterial antibiotic resistance is a world threat that is not well-known by the general public and will have devastating consequences in the future if it is not addressed soon.
What has your experience been as a Soar-in-4 Scholar in the college, and how has this program helped you along the way?
Amazing! The Soar-in-4 Scholars program has provided me support, guidance, and encouragement which will allow me to graduate earlier than expected. The one-on-one mentorship and networking opportunities have helped me succeed in the academic arena. Thanks to this program I have developed what I hope to be long-lasting relationships with fellow students and advisors alike.
Tell us about the clubs or student organizations you are involved with.
I am the Vice-President for Global Medical Brigades and the Treasurer for Pre-Health Ambassadors.
My involvement in these organizations has enhanced my research by expanding my knowledge of various topics that are related to my field. The subject matter in Tiny Earth is a worldwide issue and with my involvement in Global Medical Brigades I will be able to help third world countries that are heavily affected when a health crisis arises by providing medical support and relief. My involvement in these organizations has also enhanced my time here at FAU by helping me develop leadership skills, building relationships, and expanding my involvement in campus affairs.
What do you like best about being at FAU?
The student diversity! I have a passion for learning about other cultures and when I arrived at FAU I was pleasantly surprised with the diversity of cultures in students and staff. I have learned that there are many students at FAU from all different cultures and walks of life.
What career or academic pursuits are you interested in after you graduate?
After I graduate I intend to attend medical school and become a physician. FAU provided me with a strong academic program in science which will be the foundation for my medical career.