From the Canal to Chemistry

Juan Castillo shares his story in new ‘Become A Researcher’ video series

Juan Castillo

“My mother was a huge part of my journey and is the backbone of who I am today. It's an incredible feeling to share my mother's story and give the viewers my reason for pursuing an education. I did it for her,” said Castillo, a research scientist for Gilead Sciences.

Castillo earned his doctorate degree in analytical chemistry from the University of California, Davis. Before that, he obtained his bachelor’s in chemistry from San Francisco State University, where he participated in the National Institutes of Health-funded research program, SF BUILD. 

In his episodes, Castillo talks about how growing up in the “Canal” neighborhood in San Rafael, California, helped shape his journey toward becoming a researcher and inspired him to give back to the community. His work focuses on small molecule therapeutics to help people with life-threatening diseases.

Castillo said he wants to inspire others and be a role model. He likes to participate in outreach programs as an authentic role model and share educational experiences with historically underrepresented students in science. 

“I hope with these videos I can inspire others who look like me to pursue a career in science and they too can obtain a higher education degree in anything they set their minds to,” he said.

Watch all three of Castillo’s episodes on YouTube:

Follow Enhance Science on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates on the next episodes in the series highlighting Cecilia Hinojosa, PhD.

Supported by the National Institutes of Health

Award #U54GM119024