Testimonials From UCR Students, Staff, Faculty, and International Visiting Scholars

Jason Junio
Jason Junio
Biochemistry Undergraduate
2015-2017

The PTRC gives me the opportunity to apply my curriculum to projects that I felt had a large purpose, giving me a larger understanding, and appreciation for my studies. The lab has a very comfortable learning environment, where I could practice and continue to learn more not only about lab practices, procedures, plant sciences, or genetics, but also the skills to work in a very professional setting. Thank you Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas and the rest of the PTRC staff for the opportunities and experiences, as they will follow me wherever I go down the road!

Jamie Han
Jamie Han
Biology Undergraduate
2016-2017
 

During my time here at PTRC, I was able to have hands-on experience and further my knowledge in plant tissue culture. This experience is unique and allowed me to grow as a researcher. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to learn here. Most of all, thank you Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas and the PTRC staff for a wonderful experience. 

Joshua Hernandez
Joshua Hernandez
Biochemistry Undergraduate
2015-2016
 

I am very thankful for the opportunity of being part of the Plant Transformation Research Center. Here, I have had such a wonderful experience where I have learned about in vitro plant tissue culture, plant genetic transformation, and so much more. I am grateful for having Dr. Martha Orozco-Cárdenas as a mentor and teacher who has provided much guidance to me throughout my experience here. I am truly blessed to have been part of such an amazing staff. I am confident I will continue to apply the many skills I have learned from PTRC in my future endeavors. 

Reema Saleh
Reema Saleh
Bioengineering
Undergraduate
2010-2014
I had an amazing experience working at PTRC, which allowed me to have a hands-on experience that contributed to the comprehension of my studies. As a bioengineering student, I was able to apply in the laboratory what I learned in the classroom. Now I have gained four years of experience over my peers and counterparts. Most undergraduates do not have the same opportunity I have had, and now I will be able to graduate with a head start.
Carlos F. Castillo
Carlos F. Castillo
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2012-2014

I had a wonderful learning experience at PTRC. When I first came here from Colombia, I had no prior knowledge about in vitro plant tissue culture and transformation. Now, I am very happy that I have learned so much. I am confident that I can now use what I have learned and apply it to my future work as well as to teach others. I was also fortunate enough to work with such an amazing and diverse group of people during my stay here at PTRC, which also enhanced my learning about many different cultures.

Jose David Cortez, MSc
Jose David Cortez, MSc
Visiting Scholar
2013

I was at the UCR Plant Transformation Center to be trained in the use of different molecular biology and plant transformation techniques using Arabidopsis and rice as model plants. This wonderful experience allows me to apply these techniques in my future research to study gene function.  Thanks to Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas and the PTRC’s staff.

Mariam Saleh
Mariam Saleh
English
Undergraduate
2011-2014

Although my majors are both within the humanities fields, I began working at PTRC maintaining the lab, which later grew into becoming a lab assistant working on plant tissue culture and transformation. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn outside of my field of study and future aspirations of law practice, allowing me to gain a sense of professional research.

Gabriela Rodriguez
Gabriela Rodriguez
Biology
Undergraduate
2012-2013

Working in the Plant Transformation Research Center allowed me to learn many new skills and techniques. It also gave me the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in previous laboratory courses in a real-world setting. It was beneficial to work both independently and as a team with other undergraduate students to complete projects. I am thankful for the experience gained from working in the PTRC and it will help me in my future career endeavors. 

Deema Akari
Deema Akari
Bioengineering
Undergraduate
2012-2013

My time from 2012 to 2013 at the Plant Transformation Research Center was filled with many valuable learning experiences that will always be significant to me. The Center and its staff taught me many skills in terms of lab protocols and the proper way to assess and address a problem or research question. While the work I do in the future may not always pertain to plant transformation, there were many aspects of the work I did during my time at the Center that has prepared me for any type of science or academia related work that I may hope to do in my coming career.

Neidi Chavez
Neidi Chavez
Computer Science
Undergraduate
2010-2013

When I first started working as an undergraduate at the Plant Transformation Research Center, I was a biochemistry major.  After some time at school, I changed to Computer Science.  However, I continued working at PTRC because of the valuable lessons I learned there. Some of the lessons I learned in time management and problem solving skills transferred well into the field of Computer Science. Working in a lab environment made me a more careful planner and a better team player.  Even though my work in the future will probably not be in a lab, I'm grateful for the lessons and friends I made at the PTRC.

Khalid Akari
Khalid Akari
Bioengineering
Undergraduate
2011 - 2013

The Plant Transformation Research Center (PTRC) has provided me with an amazing learning experience within a lab environment. I loved the family-like environment within the lab as it provided a comfortable learning setting. As a bioengineering student at the University of California at Riverside, I have learned certain concepts within my classes that I was able to apply with hands-on experience within the lab. PTRC has provided me with wonderful work experience opportunities within my field, which I am able to put on my resume. Overall my experience at PTRC was a wonderful learning opportunity and a great opportunity to meet great people who will forever be enshrined in my memories. I could easily say that my experience at PTRC is one of the most wonderful experiences at the University of California at Riverside.

Karina Tercero
Karina Tercero
Sociology
Undergraduate
2011-2013

Being a sociology major, I have always had a significant interest in the emphasis of statistical sociology and the association that it has with research. In addition, I have noticed the importance of having a structure that creates a foundation to begin a research project. Therefore, having the opportunity to work at PTRC has been immensely gratifying.  Working inside of PTRC labs has allowed me to observe the entire process of what a successful research facility does. For example, very essential components to working at PTRC are planning, proper time management, and having adequate materials and equipment such as greenhouses. Lastly, seeing how deeply dedicated the rest of the team at PTRC is in regards to plant genetic transformation techniques.

Tomas Lagunas
Tomas Lagunas
Biology
Undergraduate
2009-2012 

Working at the PTRC for three years was an extraordinary encounter, where I had the privilege to interact with exceptional scientists that provided their guidance and skills towards my development as a scientist; consequently, the transition from academia to industry was natural since I had already obtained the necessary knowledge. 

 

Jennifer Shin
Jennifer Shin
Biology
Undergraduate
2010-2012

During my two years at the Plant Transformation Research Center, I was trained in in vitro plant micropropagation and plant transformations techniques. This experience helped me gain skills which I have been able to apply in pharmacy school lab classes that require these type of aseptic techniques. 

Lina Hoyos
Lina Hoyos
Psychology
Undergraduate
2009-2011

During my time training at PTRC, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing team that guided me in different activities related to genetic engineering, highly increasing my desire to become part of the academia. Although my current area of study lies within humanities, I feel very fortunate as the experience helped me build research and interpersonal skills that help in my professional life today. 

Kathya Jovel Ruiz
Kathya Jovel Ruiz
Riverside Community College
Undergraduate
2010-2011

In 2010-2011, I had the opportunity to intern at PTRC, under the supervision of Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas. I learned tissue culture of asparagus, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tomato cells, and how to handle experimental plants in a greenhouse. The working environment was terrific. Now, as a nursing student in Canada, I realize how important my time at PTRC was to build up my critical thinking and to be able to integrate productive work teams. I thank PTRC for such a valuable experience.

Dr. Lea Cordik
Dr. Lea Cordiki
Botany & Plant Sciences Researcher
2013

For the last six months, I have been collaborating and trained in vitro tissue culture techniques at PTRC by  Dr. Martha L. Orozco-Cárdenas in a project related to the conservation of California native plants that are difficult to propagate from seeds.  Our goal is to develop efficient protocols to optimize the tissue culture of rare and endangered plant species for landscaping or ecological restoration.

Sandra Pulido
Sandra Pulido
Graduate StudentVisiting Scholar
2011-2013

I came to the PTRC as a graduate student for two years in order to complete my Ph.D. program. This was an incredible opportunity for me to enrich my knowledge and experience in plant transformation. I also learned and improved my research skills for planning and performing experiments in the lab and in the greenhouse. During this time, I had an enjoyable experience of working in an international environment with high scientific standards. Especially, I am truly grateful to Dr. Martha  Orozco-Cárdenas who led my constant process of scientific learning with high human quality. At the same time, I would like to thank the scientific staff of PTRC and the Botany and Plant Sciences Department, who helped in many different ways during my learning process.

Dora J. García
Dora J. García
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2009 - 2013
PTRC was a great place for me to grow academically and personally. During my time at PTRC, I had a chance to be trained in vitro plant tissue culture and plant genetic transformation. The philosophy of PTRC are ethics, respect, and good communication help me to be more successful with my work. I would like to thank Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas and the PTRC staff for allowing me to endure this unique experience in research.

Walter R. Lopez
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2009 - 2013
During my time at PTRC, I was trained in plant tissue culture, plant genetic transformation, and molecular biology. Dr. Orozco and her team gave me the opportunity to grow both academically and personally. I thank Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas and Dr. Narváez-Vásquez for giving me the opportunity to gain experience in molecular analysis of transgenic crops. 
Nelson Ceballos
Nelson Ceballos
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar 2011

The training in plant biotechnology at UCR’s Plant Transformation Research Center was crucial to complete my Ph.D. program. Once I came back to my country I transferred those experiences to my undergraduate and graduate students and created different research groups for investigating different important aspects in our horticultural field. 

Fredy Betancur
Fredy Betancur
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2011

I was trained in plant genetic transformation at PTRC under the supervision of Dr. Martha L. Orozco-Cárdenas. This training was very useful to enrich my knowledge in the area of biotechnology and to define my future career.  It was an unforgettable experience!

Alexander Rebolledo
Alexander Rebolledo, PhD
Visiting Scholar
2010

During my internship at UCR, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of plant physiology and cell biology. I also envisioned the possibilities of applying molecular biology techniques in my research. This was a great opportunity to start a collaboration between researchers at UCR and my institution.

Ana C. Morillo
Ana C. Morillo
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2008
During my internship at PTRC, I was trained in plant cell and molecular biology techniques under the mentorship of Dr. Javier NarváezVasquéz, and  Dr. Martha L. Orozco-Cárdenas. This training helped me to improve my analytical skills as well as good hands to do experiments with precision and accuracy. This internship was crucial in the projection of the development of my professional career.
Yacenia Morillo
Yacenia Morillo
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2008

During my time at the Plant Transformation Research Center, I was trained in plant in vitro tissue culture and genetic transformation techniques under the direction of Dr. Martha L. Orozco Cárdenas.  I was also awarded a scholarship by UCR’s Extension Center to attend  English (ESL) courses, which helped me to improve my English proficiency. The human talent and the valuable knowledge imparted by PTRC's faculty and staff have had a great impact on my professional career and personal life.

Edwin Restrepo
Edwin Restrepo
Graduate Student
Visiting Scholar
2007

I was at the UCR Plant Transformation Center to be trained in the use of different molecular biology and plant transformation techniques. This training helped me to improve my English and analytical skills in the laboratory. Thanks to Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas.

Aliona Glijin, PhD
Aliona Glijin, PhD
Visiting Professor
2006

I was trained in different technologies for the production and the molecular analysis of transgenic plants at the PTRC under the directorship of Dr. Martha L. Orozco-Cárdenas. This fellowship program was granted by CRDF-MRDA. An international collaboration was established between the PTRC at UCR and the Moldova State University (MSU). The scientific results are a product of these Fellowship training programs that are published in eleven scientific papers and discussed in specialized international conferences. I am very grateful to Dr. Javier Narvaez and Dr. Orozco-Cárdenas for their kind hospitality and scientific assistance. Thanks also to all members of the PTRC team.  All of them helped me not just to accumulate a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field but also showed me a very interesting country, with a very rich culture.

Angela Port, PhD
Angela Port, PhD
Visiting Professor 2005

At the PTRC, I participated in many activities such as the genetic transformation of plant cells and tissues, and molecular analyses of transgenic plants for the presence of foreign genes. The PTRC helped me to develop a screening protocol for the detection of GMOs for the establishment of a GMO regulatory system in my country.

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