Student Spotlight: Anthony Manliguez

Meet Anthony Manliguez, a third-year undergraduate student pursuing USC School of Pharmacy’s new Bachelor of Science degree in biopharmaceutical sciences. In this spotlight, he shares his reasons for enrolling in the new degree program in December of last year, how he established Bisaya Bench—a weekly course available to anyone wanting to learn Bisaya, the second most spoken language in the Philippine islands— and his involvement in USC Cheer.

What has been your favorite part about the biopharmaceutical sciences program so far?

Being a pre-medical student majoring in biological sciences and biopharmaceutical sciences has been an incredible journey for me. My experience as a cancer immunotherapy research intern at Baylor College of Medicine motivated me to enroll in the new biopharmaceutical sciences program in December of 2021 due to my interest in learning more about product development and commercialization. I am currently enrolled in a business and marketing class and I am learning about healthcare, health insurance, policies, and more. This class, along with other classes in the biopharmaceutical sciences program is very application-based, which is crucial in preparing students for the real world. As an aspiring oncologist with an interest in innovating cancer therapeutics, the program is helping me develop a holistic understanding of the biomedical industry, the healthcare system, and innovative medical products.

I would also like to share that because of my involvement in this unique major, I was recently offered an internship at my dream biotech company, Johnson & Johnson! I will be working as an Oncology Clinical Scientist Intern and will be helping to conduct clinical trials for cancer patients and their respective therapeutics – one step closer to my dream of being an oncologist and biotech professional!

You are involved in cheerleading at USC. Could you share more about your experience?

While I was raised primarily in Australia, my family relocated to Houston, Texas during my high school years. In the South, high school cheerleading is HUGE! During my four years in the Lone Star state, I picked up a passion for the cheerleading sport and have been fortunate enough to be able to continue collegiately at USC. I perform on the sidelines at almost all of USC’s athletic events, and I also partake in national championships for competitive cheer.

Although I have been in this sport for a long time, it continues to push me both physically and mentally, therefore, I don’t ever fear new challenges. I know that as a future healthcare provider I will face challenges in the field but I will be ready to overcome them all.

Are you involved in any clubs or student organizations on campus? Can you share your experience?

I have really enjoyed my time with student organizations at USC. I would have to say my favorite campus club experience has been with Troy Philippines (TroyPhi), a Filipino cultural organization at USC. I served as the chair for community and culture, where I helped Filipino members and people of color be grounded in their identities as minorities, immigrants, first-generation students, etc. I also directed programming for all events in Pilipinx American History Month (PAHM), including educational seminars.

In addition, I founded Bisaya Bench–a comprehensive weekly course available to anyone interested in learning Bisaya, the second most spoken language in the Philippine islands. I learned Bisaya from my family who speaks the language fluently. I have always been aware of the lack of resources available for those who are interested in learning Bisaya, therefore, I am very proud to have started the weekly series to help others learn the language and culture, while also allowing Filipinos to be more in touch with their roots and perhaps even converse with their families.

As a future health care provider, teaching Bisaya is crucial to me because I believe that language-concordant care and overall health communication are of utmost importance. Delivering my future patients’ care in their preferred language is the ultimate dream. In the future I know I will take pride in being a health care provider who speaks English, Bisaya, Tagalog, and Spanish.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with prospective students about your experience at USC?

USC has prepared me for my future. No matter what field you decide to go into, you will always be in good hands and have lots of academic and personal support along the way. I will always be grateful for the various professional and personal development opportunities the university has offered me during my time here.