I am a PhD candidate in the BioEngineering program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During my undergraduate education in Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, I worked as an NIH-RISE-2BEST trainee under the mentorship of Dr. Enrique Melendez. My work in Dr. Melendez’s lab involved the development of DNA-based electrochemical biosensors for the study of the interaction between nucleic acids and organometallic compounds. In 2012, I had the opportunity of participating in the SURE program at Georgia Tech where I worked with Dr. L. Andrew Lyon investigating the layer-by-layer assembly of thin films using micron-sized hydrogel particles. My undergraduate training also includes a research internship in the Langer & Anderson Laboratories at MIT studying the use of immuno-modulatory agents to fight the fibrotic response to implanted biomaterials.
Current research interests include the development of molecular therapies for neuroprotection against protein misfolding diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease. I am a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Georgia Tech’s Presidential Fellowship. As part of the interdisciplinary nature of the Bioengineering graduate program at Georgia Tech, I am also affiliated to the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and to the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University where I am completing my thesis work under the guidance of Dr. Robert Gross and Dr. Claire-Anne Gutekunst.
I value mentorship as a mechanism for career advancement and professional development. In my blog Mentoring Hats I write about strategies to be more effective at mentoring and more efficient as a mentee.