Welcome to CienciaPR, an expert and resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico.
I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a family of non-scientists. I pursued an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, where I engaged in research onto the structure and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Last year I completed a Ph.D. degree with Dr. Li-Huei Tsai at MIT. My dissertation work centered on examining the independent contributions of the Cdk5 activators p35 and the proteolytically generated p25, both in the context of neurodegeneration and synaptic plasticity. More recently, I was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy fellow at the National Academy of Sciences where I had the opportunity to learn about the intersection between science, politics, and policy. This wonderful opportunity allowed me to explore my broad interests in science policy and to gain a greater understanding of the US scientific enterprise and issues of higher education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
I am currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a junior faculty member within Dr. Patrick Sullivan's laboratory. I grew up in San Juan, PR, where I got my undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. I am a neuroscientist by training and in 2011 I completed a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology at Harvard University, where my research focused on mouse models of neurodegeneration and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. I came to UNC in 2012 to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Sullivan, to contribute to research on the genetic dissection of complex traits that characterize many human disorders. During this time I have employed systems biology approaches to dissect the genetic basis of antipsychotic side effects using the genetically diverse Collaborative Cross mouse population, as well as establishing extensive functional genomics approaches to interpret emerging genetic findings on psychiatric disorders. In 2016 I was awarded a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award which has allowed me to implement genomics assays, such as chromatin conformation capture, for the in the aid of linking genetics to biological mechanisms. Ultimately, I aim to bring together my expertise across neuroscience, genetics, and genomics to advance our understanding of the molecular basis of psychiatric disorders.
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