Johnny Diaz

Johnny Diaz is a recent UCLA graduate, majoring in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology with a minor in Biomedical Research.

He currently conducts research in the Andrew Goldstein Lab and studies prostate cancer. You can read his co-authored paper, titled “Expansion of Luminal Progenitor Cells in the Aging Mouse and Human Prostate” published in Cell Reports.

How did you first get involved in your research project?

I got in contact during the summer of transferring to UCLA from East Los Angeles Community College. I reached out to Dr. Goldstein because my goal even before starting at UCLA was to participate in biomedical research since I enjoyed working in a lab during my community college academic career. Because I started looking early and insisted I was able to start working in the lab in Winter 2018.

How would you describe your research experience at UCLA?

My first research experience has been amazing! I cannot emphasize how much I have learned and have grown as a young scientist. I am very fortunate to have found amazing mentors, Andrew Goldstein and Preston Crowell. They continuously challenge me and push me to work harder and practice great science.

What is one piece of advice you have for other students thinking about getting involved in research?

My advice is to show up and be ready to work. Hard work is noticed and details matter the most in research. Also, communication is key in any relationship especially in research since you want to have clear goals for yourself and your project.

What are your future career goals?

My goal is to become a professor and teach biology at a community college. I have enjoyed mentoring students and want to continue to do it with underrepresented students in STEM. Also, I want to create or be a part of a research-intensive program for underrepresented minorities to create more opportunities.