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Foodarom ,

My experiences at these different research labs have reassured me of my desire for both a PhD and a career in research. However, in order to be a competitive PhD candidate at top tier institutions I need to further enhance my resume with technical lab experience, thus I am strongly driven to become employed and successful at Foodarom.

After exploring a few labs during my freshman year, I interned at Boeing's Defense, Space, and Security division in Houston. Additionally, I had the unique opportunity to work two projects:

optimizing the verification process for ISS payloads and developing spacewalk safety procedure. Furthermore, I received a part-time internship at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. This experience taught me how to succeed with large groups, collaborative multidisciplinary assignments, and juggle various projects. However, I continued to explore my interests like a young student should.

Following that experience, I was accepted to the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network at University of Minnesota where I researched a graphene-biosensor alternative to the ELISA chemical assay. Despite my lack of background on nanofabrication, I completed the project, which demonstrated that our new biosensor met standards for sensitivity and exceeded standards for speed and ease of use, while remaining scalable. However, I pushed the project further by designing an alternative electrode pattern that showed an improved signal-to-noise ratio/sensitivity. This independence tested my creativity, ingenuity, and passion for pursuing research. Ultimately, this fortified my commitment to a PhD and a career in research.

Next, during my junior year I began my Thesis under the guidance of Dr. Tak-Sing Wong whom I had worked with since sophomore year. With my newfound interests in mind, I requested to work on the batch fabrication of nano-triangle SERS biosensors using nanosphere lithography, which would greatly reduce fabrication costs. This lab provided the opportunity to both design and adjust my own experiments, and with some guidance, I could steer my project in the direction I wanted. For example, I also created an alternative sensor design that employed nano- honeycombs, thus adding a new element to my thesis project. Amazingly, I would find myself in an entirely new field of research within a few months.

As an Amgen Scholar at Stanford, I wanted to engage in nanoscale biomedical engineering. Yet, much to my surprise, I was assigned to an optogenetics project in Dr. Bianxiao Cui’s Lab. My undertaking was to modulate the homo-oligomerization of light-sensitive CRY2 by using different fusion proteins. I invested myself greatly to learn new techniques, theories, and approaches. Additionally, by summers end, I even went on to win a “Best Oral Presentation” award at Stanford’s research symposium. This experience reassured me that I can succeed within varied spheres of research and opened my eyes to life sciences research in a splendid way.

In conclusion, I believe that my success in various research environments ranging from industry to academia and protein engineering to nano-electrical engineering demonstrated my ability to adapt, learn, and succeed. I firmly believe that my diverse range of experiences have prepared to me to succeed at Foodarom as a lab technician. Furthermore, I am confident that there is no better second step in my professional development than a career with Foodarom. With that, I hope to continue my growth into a capable researcher under the Foodarom banner.

Warm Regards,

Victor Pablo Acero

VViiccttoorr AAcceerroo

730N Atherton Street State College, PA 16803 469-230-4192


Pennsylvania State University B.S. Engineering Science,

Graduation: May 2017 GPA: 3.36

Research Experience

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Palo Alto, CA Professor Bianxiao Cui Undergraduate Intern 6/2016 08/2016

Project Title: Modulation of Light-Induced Homo Oligomerization of Cryptochrome2 Optogenetic methods seek to develop a platform allows precise control of protein-protein interactions via light- sensitive proteins. Our method uses the light-activated dimerization of the Cryptochrome2 (CRY2) protein and its binding partner CIBN and/or the light-activated homo-oligomerization of CRY2 to induce protein-protein interactions. Because both CRY2 states exist under light excitation there is poor control over the states, which significantly confounding results and analysis. This work seeks to determine how fluorescence tags and bulky fusion proteins may modulate homo-oligomerization.

Selected Accomplishments:

Showed that fluorescence protein’s innate multimeric properties and “bulky” proteins can impact CRY2 Homo-Oligomerization.

Learned how to do fluorescence microscopy and do image analysis.

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, State College, PA Professor Tak-Sing Wong Undergraduate Intern 8/2015 Present Project Title: Novel Batch Fabrication of Surface Plasmon Biosensors Worked on optimizing the fabrication of surface plasmon biosensors using batch fabrication. After depositing a monolayer PDMS film it will be heated to encourage binding at interfacial sites between the spheres. The spheres are then etched to create a nanotriangle mask which can allow for batch fabrication of nanotraingles usually made with electron beam lithography.

Undergraduate Intern 08/2014 05/2015 Project Title: Oil and Water Separation by Triboelectrically Charged Surfaces Worked on water/oil separation by using the triboelectric effect to charge polyeurathane surfaces, which would have a different electromagnetic force on water and oil, thus allowing the two to separate.

Selected Accomplishments:

Developed proof of concept for a gravity assisted water/oil separation construct that would allow for a charged surface to force water and oil to separate as they were pumped through a “faucet”

Wrote paper for the PSU College of Engineering Research Initiative

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, Minneapolis, MN Professor Tianhong Cui

Summer Intern 5/2015 to 8/2015

Project Title: Enhancement of Graphene Biosensors for Cancer Detection

We exploit the sensitivity of 2D materials to its surrounding environment to produce sensors with an industry competitive detection limit. I then worked with a novel technique developed by the TIAN lab to batch produce the biosensors, in order to be more competitive with industry testing equipment.

Selected Accomplishments:

Developed new sensor design to reduce electrical noise and improve signal to noise ratio of past sensors.

Developed sensor that outperformed ELISA on time and a theoretically better detection limit.

VViiccttoorr AAcceerroo

Page 2 Phone: 469-230-4192

Lunar Planetary Institute on lunar rover technology. Also optionally helped with developing a CubeSat made by Early Career Boeing employees.

Selected Accomplishments:

Developed first up to date list of the ECL/ABCL process, which is the process that determines what equipment was approved to be sent to the ISS and which stage of approval it was on.

Created several schematic designs for an optimized process that reduced the number of review points for a payload and could reduce process time.

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY, University Park, PA Applied Research Laboratory

Undergraduate Researcher, 09/2013 to 02/2014

Project Title: Red Force Exploitable Vulnerabilities of Blue Force Tracking Systems

Work on analyzing the strengths and vulnerabilities of blue force tracking for the Marine Warfighting Lab. We listed and cataloged all potential weaknesses in the blue force tracking system that red forces could exploit.

Selected Accomplishments:

Developed “blueprints” for red force ideas and devices

Presented viability of ideas, assessed risk level, and method of deployment to Marine Corp. supervisors.

Presentations and Publications

Modulation of Light-Induced Homo-Oligomerization of Cryptochrome2

Stanford Summer Research Program Convocation, Oral Presentation Award, August 2016

University of Pennsylvania: PhD Symposium, September 2016

Nature Chemical Biology (In Review, 2016): Understanding CRY2 interactions for optical control of intracellular signaling

Enhancement of Graphene Biosensors for Cancer Detection

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, Best Poster Award, November 2015

Penn State Science Fall Poster Session, October 2015

University of Minnesota Summer Poster Session, August 2015

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network: Symposium at Cornell University, August 2015

Triboelectric Water and Oil Separation

Pennsylvania State University Engineering Spring Poster Session, April 2015

Extracurricular Activity

Millennium Society: President Penn State University, State College, PA 09/15 Present

Organized academic and social events for Millennium Scholars and facilitated mentorship USA Science and Engineering Festival Washington, D.C. 04/2016

Spoke to +2000 attendants (children) about hydrophobicity, biomimicry, and Wong Lab research

Guest Speaker for AP Students at Plano West Senior High School Dallas, TX 12/2013 Present

Provide guidance over how to be involved in research and find opportunities.

Tutor and Mentor at Atkins Elementary (Title 1 School) Dallas, TX 05/2013 Present

Helped students master fundamental mathematics and science, while promoting history and literacy

Fencing PSU Division 1 Team 08/2013 08/2014, PSU Club 08/2014 Present

Fencing competitively throughout my high school and college career

Skills and Classes

Scanning Electron Microscope Proficiency

Optical Lithography

Fluorescence Microscopy

NEMS/MEMS Fabrication

Developmental Neurobiology Class


Nano/Micro Photonics Class

Electromagnetic Field and Wave Theory Class

VViiccttoorr AAcceerroo

Page 2 Phone: 469-230-4192

Awards and Scholarships

Amgen Scholar Travel Award Travel Grant to Present at Conferences, 2016 Amgen Scholar (Stanford) Research Network, Summer 2016 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students Travel Grant Awardee, 2015 College of Engineering Research Initiative Research Grant at Penn State, 2014-2015 National Nanotech Infrastructure Network National Research Network, Summer 2015 David Suarez Scholarship Award for Hispanic Engineering Students , 2014-present Schreyer Honors College Honors College at Penn State, 2014-present Millennium Scholars Program Financial Support and PhD Prep. Program, 2013-present