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I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology with a minor in Biology from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo Campus. I was awarded Magna Cum Laude and the Medal of the Science and Technology Department that is awarded to only two students who have demonstrated outstanding development in science. I am currently doing my PhD in Biochemistry at University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. I work under the mentoring of Dr. Suranganie Dharmawardhane at the Biochemistry Department. My research project focus in understanding the mechanisms of resistance to anti-EGFR therapy in Breast Cancer. Obtaining a Ph.D. in Biochemistry is the first step towards my career goals of establishing my own research group or being able to be have a position in industry as a scientist.
The main objective of my research is to investigate dysregulation of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) as a novel mechanism of resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeted therapies in breast cancer (BC). To determine whether ncRNAs regulate EGFR therapy resistance in BC, we are using human BC cell lines SKBR3 to create therapy resistant clones to anti-EGFR therapeutics, gefitinib and lapatinib. Cells were successfully created with a clinically relevant fold resistance. Until now, our results implicate dysregulation of ncRNAs as a potential mechanism regualting EGFR therapy resistance by promoting more aggressive mesenchymal and stem cell-like characteristics.
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