When I first started telling my friends and family back home in Pittsburgh about my plan to spend the summer in Puerto Rico, the reactions I got went something like this: "Not fair! A summer on the beach!", "Don't party too hard!", and "You're going to come back so tan!" And while I do have to give some credit to these statements (because I did go to the beach, party with new friends, and get really tan), I want to stress that those awesome experiences were not the only reason I came to Puerto Rico. Yes, Puerto Rico is a beautiful tropical island, but most people already know that. What they don't know is that Puerto Rico is also on the forefront of important and original scientific research, and I experienced that firsthand.