2012 Scholars

Rafael basa

Rafael Gerald-Masiglat Basa

Classification: Junior
Graduation Year: 2016
College: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Major: Biology
High School: Michael E DeBakey High School
Hometown: Houston, TX

About Me

I am a Filipino-American, the first in my immediate family to attend a college in the United States in addition to being the elder son of two. As a result, much is expected of me by my family and I do not intend to disappoint. I carry a determination which borders on hard-headedness. Oftentimes, I throw the combined force of my wit and energy against problems until I surpass an obstacle or I am spent; admittedly, I have a problem with taking alternative approaches to a subject. I have a diffuse array of interests including the tracking of internet-based cultural memetic phenomenon, history regarding Shogunate-era Japan, and the literary works of cosmic-horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. I enjoy video gaming and looking up curious facts regarding the physiology and anatomy of the human body. Through my different interests I have noticed a recurring question of morality and its relationship to the natural world. On the matter I present one quote from Morgan Freeman as Detective Lt. William Somerset in the movie Se7en which inspires me always: “’The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the second part.”

Campus and Community Involvement

I am a dedicated usher at the Gethsemane Campus of the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church where I have been a member of the congregation for over six years. I tally congregation attendance weekly, preform the Service of Tithes and Offerings, and make sure that both newcomer and member feel welcome before and during Service. I am a member of the Cougar Kendo organization and am working hard to become a capable kendoist and I find the physical training to complement the kendo philosophy in teaching self-awareness and introspection.

Awards and Honors

At DeBakey High School for Health Professions, I was in the National Beta Honors society for four years and participated in leadership and fundraising events for the organization. In addition, I was a member of the Health Occupation Students of America and represented my school in a local, regional, state, and national level in the Parliamentary Procedure competitive event, winning 2nd place at national level in Junior year. I have received awards in excellence in English and Psychology from my high school and I graduated in the 10% out of a competitive class of 191.

Study Abroad

I have taken previously a Spanish course in high school and do not intend to take a languages course in University. Although I appreciate the different perspective on health care, medical practice,  and cultural views on medicine foreign study would yield, I place studying abroad as ultimately unnecessary for my intended major.


The research which interests me relates to the use of genetic therapy as possible remedies for congenital disease and cancer. I have researched the DNA repair mechanism of Tardigrada at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in the laboratory of dermatologist Dr. Victor Prieto alongside his son as part of a high school science project, which we presented at the city-wide level and received an award from the A&M Entomological Society. My experience in the M.D. Anderson research facilities encourages me to pursue a profession in and around the medical field.

Future Endeavors

I plan on attending medical school in post-university and getting a medical degree in order to attain a residency at a hospital within the Texas Medical Center. I intend to specialize in either anesthesiology or general internal medicine as a physician, perhaps as in the M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital.