Welcome to CienciaPR, an expert and resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico.
I am a proud Puerto Rican, born in Ponce and who grew up in Arecibo. My family had a dairy farm and always inspired me to pursue my passions no matter what they looked like (or smelled like). As a kid, I was always interested in being a teacher or a scientist, not realizing I could do both. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at UC Berkeley. My thesis project is in the biochemistry and biophysics fields and focuses on determining the mechanisms of protein degradation, a cellular process vital to all living beings.
My current professional passions include protein biochemistry, mentoring undergraduate students in their paths to a scientific career, connecting with peers in the Latinx diaspora, and learning about DEI initiatives in academics institutions. Outside of work, I enjoy time with my cats, cooking new recipes, doing yoga, and camping in the beautiful outdoors of California.
The 26S proteasome is the major eukaryotic protease responsible for regulating protein turnover. Commitment to degradation occurs when pore loops in the proteasomal AAA+ heterohexameric motor engage a polyubiquitinated substrate, which causes a major conformational change in the proteasome. These studies use fluorescence-based assays and reconstituted proteasomes with pore loop and ATP-hydrolysis defects to delineate the individual contributions of the AAA+ subunits to substrate engagement.
NIH Bridges to Baccalaureate Program
The NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program at UC Berkeley aims to increase the number of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander community college students who transfer to four-year universities in the biomedical sciences. Every year, we bring15 students to participate in a 9-week summer program in which they conduct research full-time in UC Berkeley labs, attend weekly workshops, and make poster presentations of their findings. As one of three coordinators, I am heavily involved in recruiting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as research mentors, organize professional development workshops and weekly dinners for community building, as well as guide the students in the building of their final research project.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, our program successfully moved to a virtual platform in the summer of 2020. We are excited to organize and plan (in person or virtually) our 2021 program for our next cohort of students.
Find resources related to scientific publications
See our funding feeds from the NIH and the NSF
See our jobs feeds from various sources.