Biotechnology Major’s Roots Shape His Future


Influenced by his parents’ perseverance, and determined to improve the lives of people in impoverished countries like those in his native Bolivia, graduating senior Victor Manuel Suarez has his sights set on a career in health care.

He is well on his way. Named a 2018 New Jersey Governor’s STEM Scholar, Suarez will receive his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Kean and pursue his Ph.D. in neuroscience at Brandeis University in the fall.

"Computers, cells phones, vaccines and so many other aspects of our lives are possible because of the people who went into the STEM field and modernized it,” said Suarez. “Majoring in STEM is so rewarding when you realize how applicable and important simple concepts are in the real world.”

At Kean, Suarez filled his resume with academic, extracurricular and industrial lab experiences, participating in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at Brandeis and presenting his research at the national Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.

A self-identified Latinx and first-generation student, Suarez recalls how the poverty he saw as a child in Bolivia curtailed his parents’ dreams and affected the wellbeing of the people of La Pampa. 

“I have the stubbornness of my father, the fire of my mother, and the very lust for life of Bolivians that makes me unstoppable,” said Suarez. “I will not stop until I make my dream of becoming a physician scientist come true.” 

On Thursday, May 17, at Prudential Center in Newark, Suarez will become the first in his family to graduate college, but he has bigger plans.

“Someday I’ll be working in the Victor Suarez Research Lab,” he said. “Graduation is just the beginning.”

Photo Caption: Graduating senior Victor Manuel Suarez.

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