DAVIS, Calif. -

A Watsonville native has been awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health scholarship.

UC Davis announced that junior Abraham Corrales, 20, is one of just 16 winners of the scholarships nationwide.

Corrales grew up in Watsonville the youngest of 10 children of migrant farmworkers.

A biochemistry and molecular biology major, Corrales has been awarded the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and committed to careers in health-related research. He's currently working to help develop therapies to promote the health of agricultural communities like his own.

Corrales will receive a renewable annual award for up to $20,000 in tuition and educational expenses. For each year of the scholarship, he will receive paid summer research training at the NIH and, upon graduation, a year’s employment at an NIH research lab.

He plans to earn a doctoral degree in biomedical research.

“Increasing the opportunities for low-income people to afford the necessary medication is my motivation," he said. "No one deserves to see loved ones pass away because of a lack of money.”