Anthony Acevedo credits his appreciation for scientific research to his time at College of DuPage.
“I didn’t want my courses watered down or simplified because I wanted to be ready to go to a university to tackle upper-level courses,” he said. “I got that challenge at COD.”
Acevedo earned his Associate in Science degree and transferred to Northern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology. Before transferring, he chose to stay at COD to work as a chemistry lab assistant.
“The faculty at COD, especially in my field of study, mentored me and constantly challenged me,” he said. “I had such a positive experience that I think teaching might be in my future, potentially at COD to help guide other students while they are early in their careers.”
Acevedo used his expertise as a clinical laboratory scientist to assist with the state of Illinois’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He accepted a contract position at an Illinois Department of Public Health lab in Chicago to help test the thousands of daily COVID-19 samples sent to the lab for processing.
“At Northern, I was in the lab every day, but because of the pandemic, my research ability was taken away,” he said. “The new position allowed me to use my passion toward a greater good. The lab director said my academic background and extensive lab experience made me well-suited for this type of work.”
While Acevedo was glad to help, he said working in a standardized lab reinforced his passion for academia.
“Academia presents new things every day,” he said. “You learn and grow. And you see big breakthroughs right before your eyes. It brings a lot of meaning to your work.”
Acevedo is now working as a medical laboratory scientist at NorthShore University HealthSystem. He is still interested in opportunities to help research vaccines and antibody testing.
“Finding cures is what science is all about,” he said. “With COVID-19, there are still a lot of unknowns that scientists around the world are trying to figure out. Why do some people test positive for the virus but show no symptoms? Why are others dying so quickly? I want to apply my skills and serve my state and community.
“I have to attribute my passion and upbringing in science to my experience at College of DuPage.”