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Hartnell College Alumni Success Stories

Hector Macias

Hector Macias, now a Ph. D. candidate at the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, UC Santa Cruz, was born in Jerez, Mexico. His family moved to Salinas when he was in elementary school. Hector always knew he wanted to be a scientist. After graduating from Salinas High, Hector got into a science summer bridge program at Stanford. “I got to follow around a scientist all day. It was a great experience because I got to see what being a scientist would be like. You can’t really get that from sitting in a high school class” says Hector. As a student at Hartnell he took just about every biology class Hartnell had to offer. “Coming to Hartnell was the best thing I ever did. The small classes allowed me to get as much interaction with teachers as possible and that helped me to solidify as a scientist”.  

On February 26th, 2009, Hector Macias returned to Hartnell to talk to aspiring science students. His presentation, titled “Employing the Mouse Mammary Gland as Model of Development” is a project he works on at UC Santa Cruz where he conducts research on developmental cues that control growth in organisms. 

While at UC Santa Cruz Hector got support from Minority Access to Research Careers/ Minority Biomedical Research Support (http://marcmbrs.ucsc.edu). The goals of the MARC and MBRS programs are to increase the numbers and capabilities of minority scientist and science professionals and to prepare students for careers in biomedical research. Hector also got a grant for the Beckman Foundation. “If there is anything I want you to get out of this presentation is that there is funding available out there. Don’t let the tuition discourage you from pursuing your academic dreams” he says.

Hector now lives in south San Francisco. His ultimate goal is to establish his own laboratory in the field of regenerative medicine.

    Hector  Macias

Hector and his aunt, Delia Saldivar in front of Merril Hall, Hartnell College