Students Trained 1997 -2016

“The path towards a long-term recovery of PR’s economy will require a profound social and intellectual transformation. Two of the most important players in this transformation are the University of Puerto Rico and our young, talented students. Despite the financial crisis that Puerto Rico is facing and the Zika virus epidemic, the attitude of our students is unbeaten and science is booming. Most of the student that trained in our laboratory came from very disadvantage background families who live in rural areas in Puerto Rico and are first-generation college students. This picture shows the faces of many stories of success, their lives were transformed through a rigorous research training and the generous contribution of the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. ” JALD

 

A LEGACY FOR RESEARCH TRAINING…

Neuroscience has historically been one of the strongest research programs in the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the legacy of the Institute of Neurobiology in Old San Juan, established in 1967 by Professor José del Castillo (1921-2002), has been fundamental to its development in Puerto Rico. All of the research training that we have provided has been inspired through legacy of an outstanding scientist and mentor, Dr. José del Castillo. Under his guidance, the Institute of Neurobiology in San Juan, PR, became a major contributor to the development of research in the neurosciences, as well as a key resource for the training and mentoring of graduate students. Unquestionably, Dr. del Castillo’s legacy has defined research career pathways for many neuroscientists in Puerto Rico including myself, who trained with Jose del Castillo from 1985-1989 and his influence gave origin to this laboratory established since 1997 at the Department of Biology at UPR Rio Piedras. Our laboratory has provided multidisciplinary research experiences to enthusiastic and talented undergraduate students across UPR campuses and private institution in PR. We have provided rigorous training experiences for, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows. The research environment that we have provided to many students during the last 20 years has develop their critical thinking, computer and math literacy, logic skills and language. Our mentoring methods incudes research training which includes the following key elements: a) multidisciplinary research environment, b) strong collaborative environment via mentoring networks, c) foster critical thinking and independence, d) prepare students for project ownership, d) participation in summer internships in the mainland, d) encourage students to publish, e) high work ethics is essential, e) long–research partnership with mainland laboratories, f) high-end instrumentation and techniques available for students, g) distributed responsibilities in the laboratory and shared credit, h) innovation and intellectual property training, i) passion for science, j) hard work, persistence and creativity and k) intellectual humbleness. Our training provides an integrated view of science by strengthening the conceptual depth in special areas of interest such as ion channel biophysics, protein structure, molecular and cellular biology.

The outcomes of our training are tangible. We have trained approximately two hundred (232) students in our laboratory and strongly motivated them to pursue Biomedical related research careers. Since 2001, our laboratory graduated fourteen (14) Ph.D.s, two (2) masters and thirteen (13) undergraduate’s students from our laboratory have already obtained Ph.D. degrees. In addition, another thirty six (36) undergraduate students from our laboratory are now attending graduate schools, in Ph.D. and nine (9) combined M.D. /Ph.D. programs. Furthermore, another 34 of our undergraduate students completed M.D.s and 35 are presently attending medical school. Most of these students belong to low-income families who live in rural areas all around Puerto Rico, thus, we feel that this laboratory has made possible the career development of many talented, first-generation college students. The training that we provided has positive effects not only on the number of students who pursue graduate studies, but also on the fraction of these who are successful in completing their degrees in a manner that is both timely and conducive to continuing into postdoctoral experiences. In addition, since the purpose of our training is to produce graduate students who are more competitive, they are expected to have an impact on careers subsequent to completion of doctorates. In this respect, many of the Ph.D.’s developed in our laboratory are currently making important research contributions in Physiological and Neurobiological related areas, and science education. Our long term-goal is that within the next 5 years we have contributed to the development of about 100 Ph.D. scientists. The accomplishment of this goal will serve to disseminate the transforming vision of an outstanding scientist and mentor, Dr. Jose del Castillo.

Student Development 1997 - 2016

Detailed List of Ph.D. developed

NameDegreeStatus
Lozada Santiago, EnerlynPh.D.Postoctoral Fellow at University of Cincinnati, Ohio
Asmar, GuillermoPh.D. Staff Scientist Monsanto
Lizardi, JoséPh.D. Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University Medical Center
Cruz Martin, AlbertoPh.D. Assistant Professor Boston University
Mercado Muñiz, José L.Ph.D. Staff Scientist at Kineta, Inc. Seattle, WA
Guzmán Colón, GisilaPh.D. Staff Scientist AMGEN Thousand Oaks, California
Del Valle Piñero, A. YeseniaPh.D. Regulatory Health Project Manager, Food and Drugs Administration
Navedo Morales, Manuel F.Ph.D. Associate Professor University of California at Davis, Pharmacology
Nieves Cintron, MadelinePh.D. Staff Scientist University of California at Davis
Sanchez Padilla, JavierPh.D. Senior Research Scientist, Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.
González Pérez, CaledPh.D. Postdoc, Baylor College of Medicine. Interdepartmental Program of Cell and Molecular Biology
Marti Arbona, RicardoPh.D. Staff Scientist, Los Alamos Lab, Research Associate
Torres, AlexisPh.D. Scientist at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics
Santiago, LauraPh.D.Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón
Caballero Rivera, DanielPh.D. Staff Scientist Amgen, Juncos, Puerto Rico
Casiano, AnettePh.D. Professor, Montgomery College, Maryland
Osorio, KarenPh.D. Senior Scientist, Procter and Gamble in Ohio
Báez Pagán, CarlosPh.D. Associate Investigator, Lecturer, NIEF Coordinator
Otero, José D.Ph.D. Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington
Biaggi Labiosa, NilzaPh.D. Clinical Research Program Coordinator at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Capllonch Maldonado, RuthPh.D.Speech Therapist
Gómez, JoséPh.D.Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
Quintana, RuthPh.D.Ph.D. Candidate, Ponce School of Medicine
Velásquez Rivera, EricPh.D.Ph.D Candidate, University of California, Irvine
Rivera Rentas, AlbertoPh.D.Extramural Research Training Officer, NIH
Oyola, JessicaPh.D.Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón
Capó Vélez, CoralPh.D.Post Doc, Clinical Bioreagent Center, Puerto Rico
Delgado Vélez, ManuelPh.D. Project Manager, Clinical Bioreagent Center
López, GretchenPh.D.Assistant Professor, Kansas City University
Santiago, JohnPh.D.Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Rosa Bauzá, YazminPh.D. Science Teacher Fremont Unified School District
De La Torre Ubieta, LuisPh.D. Post Doc University of California, Los Angeles
Giusti Rodriguez, PaolaPh.D. Post Doc, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Marty, Leilani Ph.D.Post Doc, University of Michigan Medical School
Nogueras, CarlosPh.D.Post Doc, Neurobiology Institute, University of Puerto Rico
Vazquez Rosa, EdwinPh.D.Post Doc, University of Iowa
García, WilfredoBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard/MIT
León Rivera, RosirisBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Grajales, JoséBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, Washington University
Mercado, JoséBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, University of Massachusetts
Rivera, ElviaBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico/MD Anderson
Grajales, GaryBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, Washington University
Fernández, RicardoBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico/MD Anderson
de La Cruz Rivera, PamelaBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, University of Texas Southwestern
García González, AurianBSMD/Ph.D. Candidate, Student University of Massachusetts
Aponte, Juan C.BSPh.D. Candidate, Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico
Dávila, IrmaydínBSPh.D. applicant
Rosario, NoeliaBSPh.D. applicant
Morales Pérez, ClaudioBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Texas Southwestern
Conklin, StevenBSPh.D. Candidate, Duke University
Schaening, CassandraBSPh.D. Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Colón Bernal, IsabelBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Michigan
Serrano, GénesisBSPh.D. Student, Buffalo University
Fernández, EmilyBSPh.D. Student, University of Pennsylvania
Quiroz Figueroa, KatherineBSPh.D. Student, University of Pennsylvania
López Cruz, Luis M.BSPh.D. Student, University of Puerto Rico
Torruellas Arzuaga, Karla A.BS Ph.D. Candidate, University of Florida
Merced Alvarez, Gadiel E.BSPh.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico
Rosa Hernandez, LisetteBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Florida
Meléndez, MarielBSPh.D Candidate
Gómez, JoséBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
González, OmayraBSPh.D. Candidate, Rutgers University
Joaquín, FreisaBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico
Ríos, Ramon Y.BSPh.D. Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ramos Busot , FelixBSPh.D. Candidate, Rochester University
Aponte Santiago, Nicole AnnBSPh.D. Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Avilés Pagán, EmirBSPh.D. Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lanauze, ClaudiaBSPh.D. Student, University of Pennsylvania
Pullen Colón, MelanieBSPh.D. Candidate Washington University
Diaz, RosedelmaBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico
Cotto Ríos, SonnielizBSPh.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico
Valdés Fernández, BiancaBSPh.D. Student, University of Puerto Rico
Cruz López, DidianaBSPh.D. Student, University of Puerto Rico
Maldonado Hernández, RafaelBSPh.D. Student, University of Puerto Rico
Kuchibotla, MadhaviBSPh.D. Student, University of Puerto Rico
Rodríguez Díaz, Jean C.BSPh.D. Student, University of Michigan
Martinez, Luis E.BSPh.D. Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Miranda, Miguel AngelBSPh.D. Candidate, Gerstner Sloan Kettering

MD

Arvelo Lugo, WencesMDInternal Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
Capó Ramos, David E.MDEpidemiologist ABARCA Health, Puerto Rico
Lopez Quintero, MariaMDInternal Medicine
Báez Bonilla, RafaelMDInternal Medicine Nephrology, Florida
Mercado Sepulveda, RaquelMDObstetrics & Gynecology, Tucson, Arizona
Hernandez Rivera, HelderMDClinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Dallas, Texas
Valentín, JuanMDPhysical Medicine/Rehab Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Rodríguez, Laura MDPsychiatry Residency
Torres, HeidiMD
Vazquez, YarelizMDRadiology Resident, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Reyes, AlexMDEmergency Medicine, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Acevedo, LaurenMDUniversity of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
Martínez, JonathanMDPediatrics
Shehadeh, MohammadMDInternal Medicine, St Vincents Medical Center Southside, Florida
Alvarez Díaz, GersonMDDiagnostic Radiology, Cayey, Puerto Rico
Reyes Torres, JoséMDColon and Rectal Surgeon, Manatí, Puerto Rico
Colon Rodriguez, Modesto J.MDThoracic Surgeon, New York
Zeno Guzman, DavidMD
Ortiz Diaz, EnriqueMDInternal Medicine, South Miami, Florida
Ricardo, AriamsiMDInternal Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Vasquez, RaulMDAssistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Kentucky
Arroyo, ChristianMDGeneral Surgery, Gainesville, Florida
Tardy, FrancesMDAssistant Professor, Abdominal Imaging & Ultrasonography, Department of Radiology, University of Florida
Galloza Otero, Juan C.MDAssistant Professor of Physical Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
Valle Aviles, FelixMDFamily Medicine, Manatí, Puerto Rico
Castillo, JoanneMDFamily Medicine, LVPG Family Medicine, Pennsylvania
Caraballo, IvánMDInternal Medicine, Utuado, Puerto Rico
Martínez, YaizaMD
Reyes, Edgardo MDInternal Medicine, Miami, Florida
Cuello, KilsyMDNephrology Fellow, Augusta University, Georgia
Vives, CarlosMD
Cuascut, FernandoMDResident, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Department of Neurology, New York
Fernández, José LuisMD
Plaud , AudaMDPediatrics, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Carrasquillo, OnelysMDResident, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Vicente, JessicaMDMD Candidate, School of Medicine, Guadalajara
Olazagasti, JeannetteMD/MSDermatology, Rochester, Minnesota
Ríos, RaymondMDMD Candidate
Dorna, LuisamariMDMD Candidate
Pérez, Roberto J.MDResident, Neurosurgery University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Candelario, MadelineMDMD Candidate
Díaz, GilMDMD Candidate
Ramírez Márquez, JeromeBSMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Rodriguez, DesireeBS/MPHMD Candidate, Escuela Medicina San Juan Bautista
Padilla, JeanMDPhysician, Philadelphia
Padilla, LauraMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Vélez, KarlaMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Luciano, MariecelyMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Santiago, EduardoMDMD Student, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Perez, NataliMDMD Candidate
Soto Morales, JaniceMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Marrero, GabrielMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Aponte, AlexandraMDMD Candidate, Medical Sciences Campus
Morales Vargas, BryanMDMD Student, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Martinez, Abner Y.MDMD Student, Universidad Central del Caribe
Martínez, ArnaldoMDMD Student, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Cruz, LilibethMDMD Student, Ponce School of Medicine
Marte Oquendo, FranciscoMDMD Student, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Ortiz Rodríguez, Angel L.MDMD Student
Román, Miguel A.MDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Vazquez, AngelisMDMD Student, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Gonzalez Viera, GloriselMDMD Candidate, Ponce School of Medicine
Santiago, Luis M.MDMD candidate, University of Puerto Rico
María Ríos, Jose C.MDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Luna Ramirez, NuriaMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Yan Huang, JuneMDMD candidate, Universidad Central del Caribe
Erica G. Otero CárdenasMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Emmanuelli, AdrianaMDPhysician, Miami, Florida
Cruz Centeno, NelimarMDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Rosado Millan, Irvin D. MDSubmit to University of Medicine and Health Science, Saint Kitts
Vélez, Carol S. MDMD Candidate, Ross University, Portsmouth, Dominica
Blundell, AndrewMDMD Candidate, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
Oliveras, Hector A.MD MD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus

DMD

Rodriguez Bonilla, Carla D.DMDPediatric Dentist, San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico
Gil Falero, Olga A.DMDDentist, New York
Ortiz, CristinaDMDOral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Ortiz, PatriciaDMDOrthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Resident, Bronx Lebanon Hospital
Frontera, EvaDMDDMD Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus

Undergraduate

NameDegreeStatus
Albino Rivera, EdgardoBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Angeles Pérez, Lidiette M.BSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Burgos Tirado, NeikelynBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Carmona Márquez , JeromeBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Castro, GustavoBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Colón, AlfredoBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
De Jesus Astacio, Luis BSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Durán Martínez, MónicaBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
González Martínez, OrlandoBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
González Rivera, AdrielBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Gorbea Colón, JoséBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Iglesias Maldonado, Juan C.BSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Lugo Bendezú, AdriánBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Paris Castro, Joel O.BSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Polaris TorresBSUndergraduate Student
Raffols De Jesus, PaolaBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Ramírez Márquez, EstefaníaBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Reilly Andújar, FrancisBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Rivera Perez, DennysBSUndergraduate Student
Rodríguez Tirado, CarlaBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico
Velazquez Rodriguez, SebastianBSUndergraduate Student, University of Puerto Rico

Other

Acevedo, JesúsBSPost Bac, John Hopkins University
Alicea Vázquez, VivianetteBSMS Student, Univeristy of Puerto Rico
Asseo, AloyshaMSLab Technician
Cabrera, NicolasBSBiotech
Calo Perez, WilliamMS
Céspede, KattyBSProject Coordinator, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Colón, YenniferBSPharm. D Student, NOVA Southeastern University
Cruz Nieves, Omar A.BSAmgen, Juncos, Puerto Rico
De Jesús, MaríaBSTechnician, Albany Medical College
Del Hoyo Rivera, NataliePharm.D.Pharm.D. Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Delgado Martínez, Frances Y.Pharm.D.Pharm. D. Student, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Delgado, SaraBSMS Candidate, University of Puerto Rico
Emmanuelli, LillianaBSChiropractic, Life University
Espinoza, DaisyMSQuality Assurance Manager, PCS, Mexico
Frontanes, Mary AnnBSEducation
García, JomarieBS/JDLawyer, Attorney at Law
Guerrero, BeatrizBSUniversity of Puerto Rico, Music
Heredia Perez, Cristine MMSEducation
Hyzinski García, María C.BSScientist at Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation
Jones Molina, JohnMAPh.D. Candidate Columbia University
Lebrón Figueroa, Dora A.MSPublic Health
Luciano, CarlosBSPsychology
Madera, BismarkBS/MTMS Candidate, Inter American University of Puerto Rico
Martinez, Angelica M.MPHAssistive Technology Unit Case Manger, University of Illinois (DrPH Candidate)
Mercado del Valle, Juan C.BSPost Bac, Ohio State University
Montalvo, Krisia, N.BSRegulatory Affairs Specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Pérez, StephanyMSEpidemiology, Master in Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Ramirez Santiago, LorreineBS/MTMedical Technologist, Metro Pavia Clinic
Rivera Dueño, María TeresaBSSpeech Therapy
Rivera Martinez, María De Los A. MS Pharmacology, Texas A & M
Salamán, José C.BSPCS
Santana Negrón, OlgaBSMS Candidate, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus
Sierra Torres, Hector R.BSAbbott
Torres Melendez, JohannaMSPublic Heath
Torres, JavierBSPolitical Associate at NextGen Climate
Vergara Mojica, ArayoánBSPharm.D. Candidate, Nova Southeastern University

Unknown

NameYearDegree
Ávila, Jacqueline2006-07BS
Avilés Cuadrado, Valerie2011-2012BS
Carrasquillo, Billy2009-2010BS
Collazo Santiago, Joanne2000-01BS
Colón, Vilmarie2010-2011BS
De Jesús, Adriana2010-2011BS
Donate Narvaez, Gisela N.1999-00BS
Dora E. Garcia2012-2013BS
González, Alex2008-2009BS
Hernández Camacho, Paola2014-2016BS
Hernández, Arnaldo J.2010-2011BS
Holder Viera, Mileyshmi2012-2014BS
Iguina Gonzalez, Enerlyn1999-00BS
López Acevedo, Nadiuska2003-04BS
Meléndez, Sofía 2011-2012BS
Michelen, Stephanie2010-2011BS
Serrano Viruet, Dimaris2003-04BS
Pastrana Chiclana, Raquel2003-04BS
Pérez, Ariane2005-07BS
Resto Colón, Mónica2003-04BS