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.”
The faculty at COD, especially in my field of study, mentored me and constantly challenged me.
Acevedo worked as a medical laboratory scientist at NorthShore University HealthSystem for about two years before accepting a position as a medical laboratory scientist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in its Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory.
“It has presented a new plethora of opportunities, which came with a plentitude of challenges, as the workflow and laboratory methodology was revealed to be tailored differently for pediatrics,” he said. “My focus now is learning new molecular techniques in DNA/RNA extraction, Next-Generation Sequencing, stem cell chimerism, microarray and many research opportunities.”
As he continues to gain more skills, Acevedo knows his start at COD provided him with a solid foundation.
“I have to attribute my passion and upbringing in science to my experience at College of DuPage,” he said.