AJ Velasquez-Mao ’17 publishes first-author academic publication

AJ Velasquez-Mao’s first-author research paper, entitled “Differentiation of spontaneously contracting cardiomyocytes from non-virally reprogrammed human amniotic fluid stem cells” was published in May 2017 by PLOS ONE, the world’s first multidisciplinary open access journal, shortly after Velasquez-Mao graduated from Rice University with a degree in Bioengineering.

Velasquez-Mao said, “This publication was particularly important to me because it’s basically the one project that I’ve worked on in research since my freshman year. Because of this project, I developed many tools and skills that I will be using throughout my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and possibly beyond. I also have won a few awards with it, including the Rice University Distinction in Research and the Rice Engineering Alumni (REA) Research Excellence Award. I was also the first-author, which is truly significant and pretty rare for undergrads!”

Velasquez-Mao graduated from Rice University with a degree in Bioengineering, and completed the Certificate in Engineering Leadership the same year. He is currently a UC Berkeley – UCSF Doctoral Student in Bioengineering in Berkeley, California.

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