Dr. Emma Fernández-Repollet, RCMI Principal Investigator at the Medical Sciences Campus was recognized by G Works and the Amgen Foundation as Distinguished Puerto Rican Women in STEM during the opening of the third PR STEM’s Up to the Challenge Education Submit held on March 7, 2017. The award was presented by Ms. Gretchen B. Guzmán, President of G Works, Inc. Dr. Fernández-Repollet shared this distinction with Dr. Álida Ortiz, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao and an educator in aspects of use, conservation and management of coastal and marine resources of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
According to Ms. Guzmán, “The award recognizes Dr. Fernández-Repollet’s exemplary dedication and contributions to research development, biomedical teaching, as well as her commitment to promote STEM education and research from middle school students to junior faculty”.
Dr. Fernández-Repollet obtained her Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and received postdoctoral training in renal physiology and anatomy at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. She then returned to Puerto Rico to establish her own laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology of the UPR School of Medicine where she conducted research in renal physiology, pharmacological applications of flow cytometry, and . Her research and collaborations have generated two patents and over 60 presentations in national and international forums.
In 1998, she instituted a program in Bioethics and Survival Skills in Research that has become a nationally recognized model for graduate student training. In addition, she created the Puerto Rico Biomedical Research Education Program (BREP), which focuses on promoting interest in science and research among schoolchildren in Puerto Rico. Over 460 middle and high schools students have participated in the Biomedical Summer Internship, the flagship of the PR-BREP initiative.
She has also played an important role on promoting projects related to women’s health and women’s health research in Puerto Rico and abroad. Similarly, her service on countless NIH national committees, planning groups, and advisory boards has enabled her to contribute to the development of programs both in Puerto Rico and beyond our borders.
Dr. Fernández-Repollet leadership capacity, dedication, and organization skills led the President of the University to appoint her Vice President for Research and Technology. In this office, she provided oversight and stimulus of the entire scientific research and infrastructure enterprise of the eleven UPR campuses throughout the island from 2003-2009. In 2010, she was appointed by the Secretary of Health of the United States, Kathleen Sebelius, as a member of the National Advisory Research Resources Council at the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Fernández-Repollet has served as Program Director and Principal Investigator of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus RCMI program for almost 30 years. In this capacity, she has played a lead role in infrastructure development, faculty recruitment, and programmatic expansion. She has been an active collaborator of the RCMI Program at the national level, and is recognized among her peers for her leadership and management skills. As a result of her commitment to the RCMI community, she was appointed President of the RCMI Program Director's Association in 2003 and received the Frederick C. Greenwood Award in, 2008, during the RCMI International Research Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
This information was obtained by press release from the University of Puerto Rico.