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UA student goes beyond his research to help those in need

Posted at 6:31 AM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 21:56:06-04

"I'm currently majoring in biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology with minors in math, music and Spanish. It's kind of mouth full." You can say that again. Eric Lu has been hard at work for the last few years at the University of Arizona. Now graduation is finally here.

"I'm kind of happy to be done. It was kind of a slog. I wouldn't sugar coat it," Lu said. But he tells me it was all worth it. Lu took a leap of faith and made a big change his sophomore year switching majors from law to science.

"I did a hard pivot towards the sciences. It's something I've always grown up with my mother was a scientist," Lu added.

Once he got started in his new major, he knew he had made the right choice . "After a couple of months it really felt right."

Lu joined a research lab and the rest as they say is history. "I kind of felt in love with the process," Lu said. Through the process, he got some advice when it came to his minors. "The advice that I got was to kind of minor in things I enjoy doing," Lu said.

One thing he enjoys doing is playing the piano. Lu is a concert level pianist and has played at Carnegie Hall. "It served kind of as a creative outlet. A useful tool for me to kind of shift gears in my brain a little bit and do something a little bit different," Lu said.

After graduation he is just getting started. Lu is heading to Washington University in St. Louis, one of the top medical schools in the country. "For the next eight years, I'll be pursuing a medical degree and a PhD." Lu said.

He's thinking about diving into two big fields. "For now I'm vacillating between cancer biology and immunology but once i get there you hopefully ill be able to figure it out," Lu said. Figuring it out is what he seems to do best. His schoolwork has led him to real world experience.

"A lot of my volunteer work has been focused on helping the underserved populations around town and abroad as well," Lu said. Like his time in Mexico helping to deliver medicine to those in need. "Down in Puerto Penasco which got hit pretty hard in the recession in 08 and they're just kind of recovering. And there are a lot of people down there similarly to the population here that lack access to medical care," Lu said.

Those are the kind of experiences inspiring Lu to make a difference as his journey is just beginning. "I'm excited. I'm grateful for all the help I've gotten along the way. It's kind of mind boggling," Lu said.