Welcome to CienciaPR, an expert and resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico.
I am the textbook definition of a "crazy cat lady". I love to cook Puerto Rican food and like to develop recipes with coconut milk, fish and seafood, plantain, "yuca" and other types of "vianda". My gatherings at home are called PRE! by my friends and acquaintance, that stands fro Puerto Rican Extravaganza! I also love tropical plants, specially anthuriums and heliconias. I like hiking. I am also a self-taught opera aficionado -mostly Puccini, Verdi, and French masters- and a classic music fan with a preference for Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Although I am a strong believer that Salsa is the best music ever.
My research focuses at the neuroimmune interactions at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and its role in the neuropathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, like multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is the second leading cause of neurologic deficits in young adults and exhibits a high sex-bias affecting three times more women than men. MS is characterized by the pathologic trafficking of autoreactive-leukocytes into the central nervous system (CNS). We are interested in 1) assessing the contribution of IL-20 cytokine family signaling and 2) the role of sexual dimorphisms at the BBB using the murine MS model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Likewise, we want to 3) assert if canine Immune-mediated encephalitis could be characterized as a natural MS model. Canine encephalitis etiology is elusive but, but there is evidence to suggest that is due to autoimmunity. Lastly, we are in the developing a model 4) to assess changes in brain microvasculature as a result to pesticide exposure using zebrafish. This model will lead to better understanding of the role that environmental factors may play in of BBB disruption and consequently on neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders.
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