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Science Spotlight: Puerto Rican researching malaria in Ghana

Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

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

Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

"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

Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

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. 


Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

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.

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

Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

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

Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

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. 

RUM team placed runner-up in NASA competition

Ariadna S. Rubio Lebrón's picture

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) student chapter of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Mayagüez Campus (RUM) won second place in the 2023 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Forum of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

This is the fifth time the students have participated in the competition, in which they achieved three consecutive championships from 2018 to 2021. This year, they presented the PROMISE: Permanent Research Outpost for Mars and Interplanetary Space Exploration mission, which met the challenge imposed in this edition to send four astronauts to Mars and have them survive there for seven years.  

RUM solar boat regains championship in Ohio competition

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The UPRM Solar Boat team, composed of students from the College of Engineering of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus (RUM), won the championship in the Solar Splash 2023 competition, which was recently held in Springfield, Ohio.  

The collegiate collective, composed of four students from the departments of Electrical Engineering (INEL) and Computers (ICOM); and Mechanics (INME), obtained an overall score of 953.74 out of 1,000. With this feat, they regained the world championship title by winning the George Ettenheim Memorial trophy that they had achieved, for the first time, in 2021. Last year they were runners-up.  

Scientists from the UPR of Río Piedras publish in the prestigious Science magazine

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Evolutionary biologist Riccardo Papa and his team presented important findings using butterflies.

In the field of evolutionary biology, studying philosophy, time and space is unusual. However, Dr. Riccardo Papa and his team of students from the Department of Biology at the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) did just that, and what they found earned them a publication in the prestigious scientific journal Science.

After collecting data for three and a half years, the group found that, in essence, there is no single path to evolution. That is, the same result can be reached in different ways; in this case, in the field of development, evolution and morphology (how living things are formed).


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