Adolfo Cuesta '10
Adolfo Cuesta '10 Recognized for Work at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
A summer spent conducting research at the renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has led to an award for Adolfo Cuesta ’10.
Cuesta has been named a Rubin and Sarah Shaps Scholar, an honor earned by four students who participated in Sloan-Kettering’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program in 2009. Shaps Scholars are recognized for demonstrating exceptional work during the course of the summer.
Sloan-Kettering’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program is designed for students who hope to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences, and provides opportunities for hands-on lab experience, workshops, and presentations. During his 10 weeks at Sloan-Kettering, Cuesta worked with Dr. Scott Keeney, investigating how the formation of double-stranded DNA breaks is controlled during meiosis, a process in which the number of chromosomes per cell is divided in half.
“Forming a double stranded break is something that can be viewed as damage to the cell’s DNA, and yet, it is something that is absolutely essential for meiosis to proceed properly,” says Cuesta. “Understanding how the formation and repair of these breaks is regulated sheds light on the various mechanisms the cell has to maintain genomic integrity. This is of particular importance at a cancer research center because failures of genomic integrity are hallmarks of various kinds of cancer.”
Cuesta says he had an excellent experience at Sloan-Kettering: “It really was a great reminder of how much I love doing research.” A biology major with a minor in physics and a concentration in biochemistry, he plans to work as a research technician for a year before applying to graduate school.