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Alberto I. Roca was a Project Scientist in the Biochemistry Department at the University of California, Irvine where he was formerly a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Roca is a first-generation Peruvian-American born in Houston, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has received FASEB/MARC travel awards to present his work at the annual meetings of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB/ISMB), and the Biophysical Society.
Dr. Roca was principal investigator of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant that allowed him to organize postdoctoral activities at the SACNAS conference and to create the web portal www.MinorityPostdoc.org. He founded the SACNAS Postdoc Committee, served on the SACNAS Program Committee, and was also a member of the Diversity Committee of the National Postdoctoral Association. Dr. Roca has been an invited speaker on minority postdoctoral issues at the following conferences: the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring; the Howard University/UTEP Institute on Preparing for Postdoctoral Experiences in STEM; and the COSEPUP Second Convocation on Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Roca has received the UC-Irvine Chancellor’s Living Our Values Award as well as the SACNAS Distinguished Service to the Society Award.
Dr. Roca's research involves using biophysical and bioinformatic approaches to understand the molecular mechanism of recombinational DNA repair. At the 2010 ISMB conference, Dr. Roca's work received second place in the inaugural Killer App Award competition. The award recognized a novel bioinformatic method (ProfileGrids) for visualizing large multiple sequence alignments.
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