Care Giver

AUTHOR: Nina Welding

PUBLISHED: July 10, 2019

Like many of his classmates, César Martín Moreno exhibits a passion for learning, growing, and giving back. It's what drove this Balfour-Hesburgh Scholar and Montebello, California, native to pursue a dual major — chemical engineering and neuroscience and behavior — with a bioengineering minor and pre-med concentration. That means he's spending five years at Notre Dame completing his degrees.

"I've always been interested in medical research. When I came to campus, Notre Dame's Building Bridges Program connected me with a faculty member who introduced me to biomedical engineering as a profession," he says. "The neuroscience part of my program is also important because I want to conduct research in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, which runs in my family."

Moreno has filled each semester with a variety of research projects — from generating nanofiltration membranes to exploring the special properties of rhodopsin genes in mosquitoes and flies. He's studied abroad in the New Zealand program with the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences and the Summer in London program with the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He's volunteered for the National Immigration Justice Center and organized service projects at the local Ronald McDonald House and Unity Gardens. He is also a member of the Latinx Honors Society and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.

"I knew Notre Dame would be a place where I could explore my interests and the world," says Moreno. "The University met my financial needs and provided academic resources and support when I needed it." Upon graduation, he plans on joining the Alliance for Catholic Education program to teach science for two years like several of his own teachers did. Then it's off to medical school.