Christian Otero ’23

Christian Otero ’23
Bachelor of Science in Chemical-Biological Engineering

How did you decide on Course X for your undergrad major?

When I first came to MIT, I knew I wanted to study something involving chemistry, biology, and math thanks to my amazing high school teachers. At the time, I didn’t know if this would entail chemistry or chemical engineering, and I honestly didn’t really know what the differences were between them. After taking 10.10 in the spring of my first year, I was able to see the diverse scientific fields that ChemE’s can contribute to and was hooked. I declared Course X-B because I wanted to supplement my ChemE education with biology courses and labs to prepare me for work in biotech.

How would you describe your experience so far?

I’ve loved it! I really appreciate the Course X community and all of the helpful faculty members who have been my instructors and advisors. Course X has provided me with the opportunities to get a world-class education while also getting huge amounts of hands-on experience in lab classes and undergraduate research. While the courses are challenging, they ultimately prepare you well for the real world. I really liked the fact that we constantly collaborate with classmates, especially in the design courses.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I have accepted an offer to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University this upcoming fall with intentions to pursue mammalian synthetic biology research. I will also be doing a research internship in Prof. Minhee Park’s lab at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) through MIT’s MISTI-Korea program. Once I finish a PhD, I hope to work in the biopharmaceutical industry working on research and development of next-generation gene and cell therapies, focusing on approaches with synthetic biology. I’m really excited for all of these opportunities to develop my research skills for my future career.

How has your MIT ChemE experience helped you follow your goals/passions?

My undergraduate research role in Prof. Katie Galloway’s lab has been one of the most influential experiences during my time at MIT. Thanks to Prof. Galloway and my graduate mentor Kasey Love, I have learned how to be a diligent biological researcher with a ChemE brain, and it has prepared me to pursue graduate studies and given me the confidence and ability to tackle many problems that lie ahead of me. I have been able to attend conferences to present my work and expand my professional network in many ways, all thanks to being a part of MIT ChemE.