Esteban Cantu graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in May with the credentials of an established researcher. The biology major earned his bachelor’s degree having had three articles published in scholarly journals with a fourth pending.
Cantu started working as an undergraduate researcher as a freshman at Texas A&M-Kingsville and never looked back. He currently works hand in hand with the internationally known scientists at the university’s National Natural Toxins Research Center (NNTRC) looking at the properties of biomedically important molecules found in snake venom. He also is part of the Ronald McNair Scholars Program.
“Doing research as an undergraduate is extremely important,” Cantu said. “It allows students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it within their different fields of study. In the lab, I get to apply what I have learned on a daily basis.
“Undergraduate research is usually not done at a larger scale university, but I was able to be involved at a smaller school like Texas A&M-Kingsville. I had the opportunity to work with leaders in venom research like Dr. John Perez and Dr. Elda Sanchez.”
Cantu is already gearing up to begin his graduate work at Texas A&M-Kingsville, but he will switch to chemistry. He plans to pursue a doctorate in biochemistry and/or molecular biology and have his own lab and teaching career at a university where he can share his love of science with others. “I want to teach so I can get the future generations excited about science like I am.”
Cantu was recently featured in an episode of the A&M System’s “Dimensions” web series about the National Natural Toxins Research Center.