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Study, Live, Work, and Stay in Riverside - The UC Riverside MRB Life Science Incubator Generates Opportunities

A Conversation with a UCR Undergraduate

The UC Riverside (UCR) Multidisciplinary Research Building (MRB) Life Science Incubator on campus re-opened its doors in January 2021 in accordance with research ramp-up guidelines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Incubator is home to regional and faculty startups and companies that need laboratory space to advance their technologies and demonstrate their commercial potential.  A first in the region, the Life Science Incubator allows local startups to grow at home, in Riverside, instead of having to move to the coast or larger cities.

With the incubator came opportunities not only for start-up companies but also for UCR students. Now that resident companies have settled into their space and are actively doing research on-site, they have started offering internships.

We had a chance to speak to Allison Raymundo, a UCR junior student in neuroscience, who worked with Karamedica as a summer intern. 

Q: What is your major and what inspired you to start your degree?

A: I am majoring in Neuroscience. My love for studying the brain started when I was 11 years old after watching a TED-talk about mapping the brain. I was fascinated by the idea of being able to study the physical embodiment of the intangible things that make us human. Our thoughts, memories, ability to learn, personality, emotion, all come from this one place that we can actually see!

Q: What are your career goals and how does the opportunity to intern at the incubator help you get there?

A: My goal is to become a neurologist and researcher. Specifically, I have an interest in researching Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. My internship with Karamedica gave me the opportunity to learn more about biomedical research through hands-on training and built upon my studies in helping me understand more about my field of interest.

“I was impressed with Allison’s ability to quickly adapt to working in our team’s lab space in the Incubator, “said Justin Brier-Jones, MS, Research Scientist with Karamedica and Allison’s mentor. Justin also interned as an undergraduate and reflected, “these hands-on opportunities allow you to be more competitive in your field as well as hone basic skills.”

Q: Why is it important for you to stay in Riverside?

A: I was born and raised in the Inland Empire. It is where my family is and it’s ultimately where I want to stay. When UCR opened their medical school, I was absolutely thrilled at the idea that I could stay close to home and work in and contribute to the community that raised me.

Q: What would you tell other students about the possibility to live, work and stay in Riverside after graduation?

A: Riverside and the greater Inland Empire comprise of a wonderfully diverse and growing community. It’s so important, especially following the pandemic, to support our communities by adding our own talents to our local industries.

“We are incubating companies that will bring jobs to the region and Allison is an example of the many students who will benefit from the opportunities generated here. It has only been a year since we re-opened the Life Science Incubator and we are seeing very positive results at many levels.” said David Pearson, MRB Life Science Incubator Director and Managing Director of Entrepreneurial Programs for UCR’s Office of Technology Partnerships.

UCR’s MRB Life Science Incubator team is excited to continue to host Allison during the fall quarter and looks forward to welcoming future students.

For inquiries about becoming a resident company at the MRB Life Science Incubator contact David Pearson. For inquiries about internship opportunities with resident startups and companies at the MRB Life Sciences Incubator see UCR Handshake for available internships.