Bienvenidos a CienciaPR, una red de recursos para todos los interesados en las ciencias y en Puerto Rico.
I completed B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. While doing my undergraduate studies at the UPR Mayagüez, I had the opportunity to join a research project under the mentorship of Dr. Juan Carlos Martínez-Cruzado, characterizing the Y-chromosome ancestry pool in the Puerto Rican population. My master thesis project at the UPR Mayagüez used mitochondrial DNA sequences to determine the continental origin of West Eurasian maternal lineages in Puerto Rico. During my graduate training in Mayagüez, I was part of a group of students of Dr. Martínez-Cruzado’s that participated in the collection of more than 500 saliva samples that were representative of all 32 provinces of the Dominican Republic for a mitochondrial DNA study. I have also participated in archaeology student group prospections and excavations in the west coast of Puerto Rico under the mentorship of archaeologist Juan J. Ortíz-Aguilú and Dr. Martínez-Cruzado. In Mayagüez, I received a University of Puerto Rico President Scholarship Fideicomiso Raúl e Isabel Gándara to present my work in Ciudad de La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the X Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Antropología Biológica. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Dutil at Ponce Research Institute and Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine. My research interests are at the intersection of human evolutionary genetics, medical genetics, anthropology and prehistory, and are motivated to understand the complex genetic admixture of human populations, their evolutionary history, and the relevance of genetic variation in the analysis of complex diseases. The emphasis of my doctoral thesis project has medical applications and is using ancestry-informative markers to analyze the genome admixture patterns in Puerto Rican women with breast cancer and determine if genetic ancestry is a risk factor for breast cancer.
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