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Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture
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El Dr. José A. Lasalde Dominicci en las nuevas instalaciones del Proyecto COBRE, ubicadas en el Piso 6, del Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Moleculares (CICiM) de la UPR.

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.

"The purpose of this act of recognition was to honor and celebrate the outstanding thirty-year career of Dr. Lasalde, who has been a pillar and standard bearer of academic, professional and research excellence in our university and Puerto Rico," said Dr. Eduardo Nicolau, executive director of CICiM. "His contributions have been truly remarkable," he added.

For his part, Dr. Luis A. Ferrao, president of the University of Puerto Rico, stated that "Dr. Lasalde's academic and research trajectory contributes greatly to the prestigious distinction awarded to the Río Piedras Campus by the Carnegie Foundation for Institutions of Higher Education. His vast and great trajectory has made significant contributions through his research in the areas of Physical Biology, Membrane Biology, Molecular Neuroscience, Neuromuscular Diseases, HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, among others. [...] We recognize the great scientific contributions of Dr. Lasalde in and outside Puerto Rico. For the UPR, it is an honor and a source of pride to have a first-rate academic who always raises the reputation of our century-old institution."

Meanwhile, PR Department of Education Secretary Dr. Yanira Raíces Vega noted in her speech that the honoree "embodies the figure of a passionate colleague, outstanding scientist and committed educator, who has contributed eloquently to the advancement of molecular sciences."

Dr. Lasalde is a graduate of three public schools in the 'Pearl of the South', these are Federico Degetau Elementary School (6th), Emeterio Colón Middle School (9th) and Dr. Manuel de la Pila Iglesias "Dr. Pila" High School (12th). At the higher education level, he studied at the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico from high school to doctorate, becoming a chemist/biologist.

All his life he was educated in the public education system, so he is clearly an example for children and youth. For this reason, Professor José Antonio Lasalde Dominicci participated in a tribute as part of the Puerto Ricans in Science Day, commemorated by the Puerto Rico Department of Education on November 15.

In his message of gratitude, Dr. Lasalde emphasized that "El Molecular" is more than a building, it is a project for the country, designed to make Puerto Rico stand out and be in the major leagues of the living sciences. "El Molecular" is a completely different paradigm of how research is done; it was designed to create research centers [on each floor] that have a topic relevant to existing biomedical problems, and to create synergy among researchers," he said.

By providing open spaces that invite collaborative research and joint proposal writing, he said, "this building was not made for my generation [...] it was made for young people [...] For me, this center represents the future of research at the University of Puerto Rico. It is a new ecosystem, it changes the paradigm of how researchers do research, we must think about collaborating, it optimizes the use of equipment, because there is common equipment that everyone uses. The university has to reinvent itself and this is a reinvention.

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