Graduate Student Accomplishments

Congratulations Natalia Valentín for Winning a American Association for Anatomists (AAA) Travel Award

Natalia2Congratulations to Natalia Valentín, Ph.D. Student, for winning a American Association of Anatomists (AAA) Travel Award to participate and present her research at the Experimental Biology 2016 Annual Meeting to be held on April 2-5, 2016 in San Diego, CA.  Natalia will present her abstract titled:  “A Unique Case of Branching Pattern in the Superior Mediastinum: A Brachiocephalic Trunk with Four Branches, and the Left Thyrocervical Trunk Arising From the Aortic Arch”.

Natalia is a student in the UCC-RISE program and currently conducts research under the advice and mentorship of Dr. Wilson Veras, faculty of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at UCC.

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Congratulations Kimberleve Rolón and Miguel Méndez for Winning a SPINES Travel Award

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 Miguel-Mendez2-245x300Congratulations to Kimberleve Rolón & Miguel Méndez, Ph.D. students, for winning a SPINES Travel Award to participate at the SPINES Symposium Meeting to be held on October 16, 2015 in Chicago, IL.  Miguel is a student in the UCC-RISE program and currently conducts research under the advice and mentorship of Dr. Misty Eaton, faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at UCC.  Kimberleve is also a student in the UCC-RISE program and currently conducts research under the advice and mentorship of Dr. Lilia Kucheryavykh a faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at UCC.  Also, she is currently performing her research as collaboration in the laboratory of Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa at Johns Hopkins University.

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Congratulations Kimberleve Rolón for Winning a 2015 AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award

KimberleveCongratulations to Kimberleve Rolón, Ph.D. student, for winning a 2015 AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Award to participate and present her research at the AACR-NCI-EORTC “Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics” Conference to be held on November 5-9, 2015 in Boston, MA.  Kimberleve will present her abstract titled: “Combined therapy with temozolomide and PF-562271, a PYK2 inhibitor, reduces glioma tumor growth and dispersal compare to temozolomide monotherapy”.

Kimberleve is a student in the UCC-RISE program and currently conducts research under the advice and mentorship of Dr. Lilia Kucheryavykh, faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at UCC.  Also, Kimberleve is currently performing her research as a collaboration in the laboratory of Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa at Johns Hopkins University.

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Ph.D. Student Wins 1st Place at Graduate Poster Competition

DSC_0851Tiffany Ríos was awarded 1st Place in the Graduate Poster Competition at the 2nd Puerto Rico Cancer Research Meeting, which took place in October 2, 2015.

Her research, titled: “Ganoderma lucidum extract and Erlotinib combined decrease cell viability and tumor progression in inflammatory breast cancer”, was performed at the Department of Biochemistry at UCC, under the advice and mentorship of Dr. Michelle M. Martínez Montemayor.  Congratulations to Tiffany and Dr. Martínez!

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Congratulations Tiffany Ríos for Winning a 2015 Advances in Breast Cancer Research – AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Award

DSC_0851Congratulations to Tiffany Ríos, Ph.D. Student, for winning a 2015 AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award to participate in the  specialized AACR “Advances in Breast Cancer Research” Conference.  The award for the 8th AACR Special Conference focused on the latest advances in breast cancer research is granted to one student from a minority group underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.  This meeting is held every two years and addresses basic and translational breast cancer research, not typically covered in other breast cancer conferences. The conference will be held on October 17-20, 2015 in Bellevue, WA, and Tiffany will present her abstract entitled:  “Combination of Ganoderma lucidum extract and Erlotinib decreases IBC progression”.  Tiffany is a student in the UCC-RISE program and currently conducts research on the use of conventional therapies in complement with Ganoderma lucidum extract and its effects on stemness in inflammatory breast cancer under the advice and mentorship of Dr. Michelle Martínez-Montemayor a member of the Cancer Research Unit and faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at UCC.

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Congratulations Sheila López for Winning a Full Travel Award at the 2015 SACNAS Conference

Sheila LopezJoin us in congratulating Sheila López, the second UCC PhD student under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Nawal Boukli from the Proteomics Laboratory and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, who won a full travel award covering all the expenses to attend the 2015 conference of SACNAS.  With this award, Sheila will attend the SACNAS meeting in Washington, DC (October 29-31) where she will present her research entitled: “Role of ER-Stress and NeuroInflammation in Human Astrocytes Treated with HIV-1 TAT and GP120”.  We are proud of Sheila and Dr. Boukli´s effort and happy that Sheila has earned national recognition to present her work.  Congratulations Sheila!
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Congratulations Madeline Rodriguez for Winning a Full Travel Award at the 2015 SACNAS ‏ Conference!

Madeline Rodriguez sJoin us in congratulating Madeline Rodriguez Valentin, a UCC PhD student under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Nawal Boukli from the Proteomics Laboratory and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, for winning a recent full travel award covering all the expenses to attend the annual conference of Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). With this award, Madeline will attend the SACNAS meeting inWashington, D.C (October 29 – 31) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center where she will present her research project entitled: “Polysaccharopeptide Inhibits Viral Replication in HIV Infected Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells”. In addition to her presentation at the awardee poster session, Madeline will be attending mentoring and training sessions  on multidisciplinary science, professional development with SACNAS peers and investigators. We are proud of Madeline and Dr. Boukli efforts, keep up the good work and continue to strive for perfection!


Ph.D. Students win travel award to the 2015 NEURAL Conference

Congratulations to20150410_140250 Miguel Méndez and David Rivera, for winning travel awards to present their research entitled “Novel KCNJ10 SNPs affect Kir4.1 biophysical properties and their modulation by spermine”and “Hyperglycemia reduces astrocytic potassium channels and function” at the 2015 National Enhancement of Underrepresented Academic Leaders (NEURAL) Conference at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Miguel and David are conduction their research under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Misty Eaton from the Department of Biochemistry at UCC.

 

 

 

 


Ph.D. Students Win 1st and 2nd Places at Poster Competition in the 2nd Puerto Rico Cell Signaling Meeting

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Eduardo Quiroz was awarded the 1st Place. His research, entitled “Bidirectional Regulation of Synchronous, Asynchronous and Delayed Release by Complexin”, was performed at the UCC Neuroscience Department, under the supervision of Dr. Ramon Jorquera.  Congratulations to Eduardo and Dr. Jorquera!

 

 

Miguel

Miguel Méndez was awarded the 2nd place.  His research, entitled “SNPs in the KCNJ10 Gene Affect Kir4.1 Channel Function”, was performed at the UCC Biochemistry Department, under the supervision of Dr. Misty Eaton. Congratulations to Miguel and Dr. Eaton!

 

 

 

 


 

Ph.D. Student Wins 2nd Place at Poster Competition

11021208_10206707810844691_1437247239018677631_nNatalia Valentín was awarded 2nd Place in The Seventh Annual Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Southeast Regional Conference Poster Competition.

Her research, titled “A Unique Branching Pattern Of The Celiac Trunk. Its Clinical And Embryological Significance”, was performed at the UCC Anatomy and Cell Biology Department, under the supervision of Dr. Wilson Veras.  Congratulations to Natalia and Dr. Veras!

 


 

Ph.D. Student performs research at Johns Hopkins University

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Kimberleve Rolón, Ph.D. student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology program, is currently performing research in the laboratory Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, world renowned Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  The research involves experiments with human glioblastoma tissue samples and development of primary glioblastoma cell cultures.  The laboratory of Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa has many years´of experience in this procedure.  Congratulations to Kimberleve for this great accomplishment!

 

 


 

Ph.D. Student Winner of a 2015 SNIP Conference Travel Award!

Sheila LopezJoin us in congratulating Shiela López, another UCC PhD student under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Nawal Boukli from the Proteomics Laboratory and Department of Microbiology and Immunology for winning a travel award to attend the 21st annual conference of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology (SNIP). This is the second student from the Boukli lab winning a SNIP award, highlighting its scientific merit.  With this award, Sheila will attend the SNIP meeting in Miami, FL, where she will present her research entitled: “Role of ER-Stress and NeuroInflammation in Human Astrocytes Treated with HIV-1 TAT and GP120”.  In addition to her  presentation at the awardee poster session, Sheila is invited to the “Meet the Mentors” luncheon, which will feature the opportunity to interact with SNIP Investigators and NIH representatives.  We are proud of Sheila and Dr. Boukli efforts and happy that Sheila will be attending the meeting and sharing her work.  Congratulations Sheila!


 

UCC PhD Student wins travel award to the 2015 Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology Conference

Madeline Rodriguez sCongratulations to Ms. Madeline Rodríguez Valentín, for winning a travel award to present her work titled “GRP78 potential marker of Neurocognitive Impairment in HIV Infected Polydrug Users” at the 21st annual meeting of the Society on Neuroimmune Pharmacology (SNIP) in Miami.  Madeline is conducting her PhD research under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Nawal Boukli from the Proteomics Laboratory and Department of Microbiology and Immunology.   The goal of the study is to identify protein signatures as prospective biomarkers associated with combined effects of HIV infection and drug abuse, leading to neurocognitive impairment and a detrimental molecular effect via chronic Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress.”Congratulations are in order for Madeline and Dr. Boukli!” said Dr. Eddy Rios, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.


 

Ph.D. Student Wins 3rd Place at Graduate Poster Competition

Yaliz Loperena Álvarez was awarded 3rd Place in The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Graduate Poster Competition at the 2014 ASCB/IFCB Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, which took place in December 6, 2014.

Her research, titled “Ganoderma lucidum decreases the phosphorylation of STAT-3 in vitro and in xenograft model of SUM-149″, was performed at the UCC Biochemistry Department, under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Martínez.  Congratulations to Yaliz and her mentor for their outstanding performance.

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Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) grant was awarded to Mr. Pedro Feliciano

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Mr. Pedro Feliciano was awarded a Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  His research, titled “Regulation of Inhibitory Activity at Hippocampal Slices by Synapsin II and Rab3a” will be performed at the UCC Neuroscience Department, under the supervision of Dr. Maria Bykhovskaia.  Congratulations to Pedro and his mentor.  This is the second F31 grant awarded to UCC.

 


 

Master of Science Student Wins 1st Place at National Symposium

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Ms. Yanilda Ramos was awarded 1st Place in the Graduate Poster Competition at the 10th Annual National Symposium on Prostate Cancer at Clark Atlanta University, which took place in March, 2014.

Her research, titled “Anticancer Curcuma longa and Coriolus versicolor  (PSP) Extracts Induce ER Stress-Mediated Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer”, was performed at the UCC Microbiology and Immunology Department, under the supervision of Dr. Nawal Boukli.  The goal of the research is to identify compounds that can serve as therapeutics against prostate cancer.  Congratulations to Yanilda and her mentor for their outstanding performance.


 

UCC Neuroscience PhD Student Obtains Biophysical Society Award

Quiroz2Mr. Eduardo Quiroz is a graduate student of the Neuroscience PhD Program of the UCC, and is conducting his PhD research thesis under the direction of the Neuroscience Department’s Dr. Jorquera.  Eduardo’s main focus has been to understand the molecular regulation of neuronal communication and links dysfunctions with human pathogenesis. His extraordinary work, recently presented at the 58Th Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco, CA, has been selected for the 2014 Education Committee Travel Award of The Biophysical Society. In addition, Mr. Quiroz has been elected a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Student and fellow in 2012. We congratulate Eduardo for his achievements, and we are thankful to him as well for helping to take the UCC name worldwide.


 

Distinguished research work in the search for the treatment of diseases

DSC_0575-1024x735The Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC) congratulates Yaliz Loperena, Raysa Rosario and Ivette Suárez, students in the Cellular and Molecular Biology doctoral program of the UCC School of Medicine, who were each invited by the American Association for Cancer Research to present their research work at the annual meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. This honor is a recognition of the work done by students in the UCC Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, in the search for treatment of various diseases. The students will be presenting the following research topics: Yaliz Loperena: Effects of Ganoderma lucidum on cytokine expression in Inflammatory Breast Cancer; Raysa Rosario: Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi) Induces Autophagy in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Cells to Promote Cell Death; Ivette Suarez: Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) downregulates key proteins overexpressed in IBC and chemosensitizes EGFR-overexpressing cells to erlotinib.


 

First Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) grant was awarded to Mrs. Ivette Suárez

Ivette picMrs. Ivette Suárez,  (student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology doctoral program) was awarded a Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, titled “Role of Reishi on Cell Surface Proteins and Signaling Modulation in IBC” will be performed at the UCC Biochemistry Department, under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Martínez.  Congratulations to Ivette and his mentor.  This is the first F31 grant awarded to UCC.