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National Institute of Health awards University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has distinguished the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus with the prestigious Institutional Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) in Biomedical Research.

 

The NIH Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) announced the ten recipients of the NIH Institutional Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) in Biomedical Research. In April 2023, the NIH launched the DEIA Award Competition to recognize transformative projects and processes developed by institutions of higher education that promote inclusive excellence and foster environments that advance an institutional culture based on diversity and equity.

Science Spotlight: Puerto Rican studies ocean acidification in Hawaii

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On the occasion of Women and Girls in Science Day, oceanographer Melissa Meléndez highlights the importance of increasing the representation of women in STEM careers.


For oceanographer Melissa Meléndez, forging her career as a research scientist has been a "difficult, but enjoyable" process. Difficult because she was the first person in her family to earn a college degree, and enjoyable because she met mentors and friends who helped her overcome barriers along the way.

By Amanda Pérez Pintado

 

"It was a little bit difficult because it was not only educating myself, but also my parents and my family about what I was going through and what I wanted to do," recalled Meléndez, who is currently studying ocean acidification in Hawaii.

Science Spotlight: Puerto Rican researching malaria in Ghana

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Ana Vázquez Pagán has been in the African country since last year on a scholarship for people interested in global health.


Scientist Ana Vázquez Pagán was in eighth grade when she lost a close family member who was pregnant during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) or swine flu pandemic. The event scarred her, and that death planted a question in her mind: "How could this have happened?

At the time, Vázquez Pagán did not plan to pursue a career as a researcher. It wasn't until she was 17, when she participated in a nanotechnology camp at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), that she considered becoming a scientist.

Over the years, that question remained with her.

Student Spotlight | Alexandra Ramos, Ph.D. Candidate of Chemical Engineering

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"Often perceived as a tropical paradise, Puerto Rico's reality tells a different story, one where its natural resources lack proper management and exploration. This has led to consistent power outages, compromised healthcare access, and critical infrastructure issues. Growing up amidst these challenges, I slowly came to realize the wide gap between the island’s potential and its own scientific community. This realization sparked my initial interest towards Chemical Engineering and helped define my purpose – to provide reliable, accessible, and sustainable solutions for major ongoing energy and health problems in disadvantaged communities.

UPR Mayagüez Campus students begin 2024 with educational experience at Google

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A group of 33 students from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Mayagüez Campus (RUM) participated in a Google Tech Exchange 2024 educational experience in Mountain View, California in early January. 

"This opportunity aims to empower students studying at HBCUs or HSIs (mostly Latino, Native and African American institutions) to grow in the technology industry. Participants in this program took virtual classes dedicated to developing skills in the field of Computer Science taught by Googlers, that is, engineers and software developers employed by Google with many years of experience in the computer industry," said Dr. Nayda G. Santiago, professor in the Department of Computer Engineering, coordinator of the initiative and member of its academic committee. 

DR. JOSE A. LASALDE HONORED AS PART OF THE 'PUERTORICANS IN SCIENCE DAY' CELEBRATION

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Dr. José Antonio Lasalde Dominicci, professor at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras and Medical Sciences campuses, scientist at the Center for Research in Molecular Sciences (CICiM) and director of several landmark research projects, was recently honored as part of the Puerto Ricans in Science Day celebration.

Recognized locally and internationally as a prestigious chemist/biologist, his professional career has been characterized by his dedication to research and teaching in the field of molecular sciences, with a special focus on neurophysiology.

Catedrática de Ingeniería Química de RUM recibe subvención para proveer soluciones al manejo del plástico

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La lucha contra la contaminación plástica y la búsqueda de soluciones sostenibles para el manejo de sus residuos son desafíos cruciales en la sociedad actual. En este contexto, la Fundación Nacional de las Ciencias (NSF) otorgó una subvención de $700 mil a las doctoras Yomaira Pagán Torres, del Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez (RUM) y Eranda Nikolla, de la Universidad de Michigan, ambas de Ingeniería Química (INQU), para un proyecto que tiene como fin diseñar y producir materiales catalíticos que faciliten la descomposición de residuos plásticos, a sus componentes químicos básicos, para su reúso en la manufactura del plástico original o la síntesis de otras sustancias químicas de mayor valor agregado. 

Catedrático de Física del RUM de la Universidad de Puerto Rico recibe subvención millonaria de la Fundación Gordon and Betty Moore

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Dr. Armando Rúa de la Asunción, professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Mayagüez Campus (RUM), received a $1,250,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which will allow him to expand his research in experimental physics for the next five years.

Dr. Rúa de la Asunción, who is the first scientist to win this grant in Puerto Rico, was selected along with 20 other researchers from the first cohort of 2023, who will have these funds to address their innovative ideas in a more creative way, as well as to promote advances in their field.

Accepted at Brown University: Paraded at RUM master's graduation and wedding on the same weekend

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In a world where numbers and equations are usually seen as cold and abstract, in math they found so much more. Mónica Colón Vargas and Geraldo Enrique Soto Rosa, who in the same exciting weekend, graduated with a 4.00 grade point average from the Department of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Mayagüez Campus (RUM) and joined their lives in marriage. In addition, they were admitted to pursue doctoral studies at Brown University, a prestigious Ivy League university. 

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