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I completed the Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY in 2004. There I was trained in Mechanisms of Disease and Therapy Department in an Adeno-Associated Virus gene therapy laboratory. Subsequently, in 2011, I obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Medical Zoology with an expertise in Molecular Biology from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan, PR. My doctoral dissertation was focused on the characterization of a membrane transporter throughout the malaria lifecycle. Then I pursued postdoctoral training in Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa’s laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Juan, PR, where I led and collaborated in several projects in two main areas: molecular mechanisms contributing to early-onset colorectal carcinogenesis and mechanisms of gut microbiota-driven gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. In 2014, I was awarded a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research postdoctoral training supplement and in 2016 I was awarded an R21 along with my mentor Marcia Cruz-Correa. Currently, I am an Assistant Investigator in the Cancer Biology Division of the University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2018, I was awarded a Transition Career Development Award (K22) to examine Host genetic susceptibility to gut microbiota-driven colorectal carcinogenesis and to develop her independent research program focused on microorganism-driven carcinogenesis and health disparities. To date, I have authored and co-authored more than 20 publications in the areas of gastrointestinal cancer genetics and health disparities, microorganism-driven carcinogenesis, and molecular parasitology.
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