I obtained a PhD in BioEngineering from 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.
During my PhD, research interests included 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.