Pre-MARC Program

With the Pre-MARC Program, students will receive hands on research experience under the supervision of a faculty member at a research-intensive institution during a ten-week period over the summer break. In order to be eligible to the program, students:

  • Must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Must be interested in attending graduate school and obtaining a Ph.D.
  • Must complete the application form.

Download Pre-MARC Program application form. 

Our 2015-2016 Pre-MARC Trainee Students


Angelo Casalez, Biology major

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Summer Research: University of North Texas Health Science Center

Career Aspirations: My career aspirations include obtaining a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology and expanding the current knowledge of this field.


Maricruz Espinoza, Biology major

Hometown: Harlingen, Texas

Summer Research : Interned in one of the laboratories of leading cancer researchers working in diverse areas such as molecular medicine; genetics and epigenetics of cancer; cancer genomics and anti-cancer drug discovery, as well as DNA repair; cell cycle biology; growth factors and signal transduction in cancer; and cancer stem cell biology.

Career Aspirations: I plan to pursue an M.D. in oncology and continue to research how cancer cells affect the human body.


Amairany Franco, Forensic Science major

Hometown: Forth Worth, Texas

Summer Research: University of North Texas Health Science Center

Career Aspirations: I hope to obtain a Ph.D. in Forensic Science specializing in DNA analysis. I aspire to further contribute to the expansion of knowledge in this field, by not only working in the science aspect of it, but, if possible, the criminal justice perspective as well.


Angela Garcia, Biology major

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

Faculty Research Mentor: Bill Atchison, Ph.D.

Summer Research: I will be spending my summer in Lansing, Michigan, doing research with a program that includes both the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Neuronal Structure and Function, and a program for First Time Research Experiences in Environmental Health Sciences. This will take place at Michigan State University and my mentor will be Bill Atchison, Ph.D. My goal this summer is to explore research as a possible career path. Being selected for the Pre-MARC program will further expand my knowledge and increase my ability to succeed in my education.

Career Aspirations: The goals I have set for myself are to graduate from St. Mary’s University with honors and to continue my studies in a professional or graduate program.


Lauren Garcia, Biology major

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Summer Research: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Department of Cellular and Structural Biology

Career Aspirations: After completing my bachelor’s degree in Biology, I hope to continue my education and pursue a Ph.D. in Genetic Counseling. I plan to specialize in cancer genetics and study the role of the epigenome.


Diego Mendez, Biochemistry major

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Summer Research: Michigan State University

Career Aspirations:I plan on obtaining an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from St. Mary’s University and eventually acquiring a Ph.D. in order to teach at an established institution and conduct my own research, possibly specializing in immunology.


Anne Ojo, Biology major

Hometown: Spring Branch, Texas

Faculty Research Mentor: Christine Gray, Ph.D.

Summer Research: During the summer, I will be working under William Atchison, Ph.D., at Michigan State University in their Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. The program includes both NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Program for Undergraduates Program in Neuronal Structure and Function, and also First Time Research Experiences in Environmental Health Sciences. This will be an opportunity for me to have an empirical experience in neuroscience research. By the end of this program, I hope to have a better idea on what I would like my future research studies to focus on.

Career Aspirations: I would like to attain my M.D./Ph.D. in neuroscience. I would like to focus on neurodegenerative diseases and contribute to unknown brain capabilities and functions.