Welcome to CienciaPR, an expert and resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico.
I did my BS and PhD at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. Subsequently, I did a postdoc in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington. After 8 years in Seattle (3 as a postdoc and 5 as a Research Assistant Professor) I started my own lab at the University of California, Davis. In spite of the distance, I still remain committed to the development of students from Puerto Rico. Indeed, I am a mentor for several MARC/RISE programs. I constantly go or communicate with people at the UPR in order to recruit and/or open opportunities for students in the search for postdoc or graduate school.
The main goal of my research team is to understand the mechanisms by which local and global calcium signals regulate excitation-contraction coupling and excitation-transcription coupling in arterial smooth muscle cells during physiological and pathological conditions. To tackle these issues, we employ several state-of-the-art techniques including molecular biology, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and confocal and Total Internal Reflections Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. We are currently interested in determining the mechanisms by which hyperglycemia induces the activation of a novel calcium signaling modality (persistent calcium sparklets) in arterial smooth muscle. We think that the activation of this signal contributes to enhanced contractility and arterial dysfunction during diabetes.
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