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Fransheska provides program and administrative support for the foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative.
Previously, Fransheska worked as a project manager for MQA Laboratories, where she managed cleanroom and bioprocess equipment validations for start-up biopharmaceutical companies. As a participant in the Amgen Foundation’s BioMINDS Program, she worked in the Tropical Microbial Ecology Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She taught an undergraduate microbiology laboratory course at the University of California, Berkeley, and has mentored college students interested in pursuing careers in science as part of the Amgen Scholars Program. Fransheska also volunteers at Casa Pueblo, an organization that promotes community participation in developing new policies to protect the environment in Puerto Rico.
Fransheska earned her M.S. in microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on research in microbial ecology and physiology. She received her B.S. in industrial biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.
The world’s oceans are experiencing unprecedented stresses due to human impacts such as increased nutrient runoff, over-fishing, and increased emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing pervasive changes in ocean chemistry and temperature. The scientific community needs the knowledge and tools to predict how these changes will affect critical ocean ecosystems upon which society relies for many important functions. The long-term goal of MMI is to enable a comprehensive understanding of marine microbial communities, including their genetic diversity, composition, and functions; their ecological role in the oceans; and their contribution to ocean health and productivity.
MMI will achieve these goals by enabling breaking barriers in the field and catalyzing new science through conceptual breakthroughs and advances in technology. MMI seeks to overcome interdisciplinary barriers that currently hinder scientists from identifying and quantifying nutrient pools in the in the ocean, from deciphering the genetic and biochemical bases of microbial metabolism, and from understanding how microbes interact with one another. MMI supports research that identifies and fills gaps in the development of experimental model systems required to investigate archetypal microbial interactions, and the development of key technologies, methods, computational modeling techniques and theory needed to advance our understanding of microbial interactions and the mediation of biogeochemical cycles. The Initiative targets crosscutting needs, such as bioinformatics, investigation of microbial processes at small time and space scales, and developing microbial probes and sensors to further transform the field and enable new pathways of inquiry.
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