Minority Opportunities in Biomedical Research Programs

Current MARC U*STAR Fellows



Name: Angie Estrada
Year: 2014-16
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Minor: Biological Sciences
Research: Optimizing Elastometric Heart Valves via Ceramic Particulate Reinforcement
Email: aestr031@fiu.edu

 

Name: Brian Ho
Year: 2014-16
Major: Biological Sciences
Research: Studies the various effects of the peptide hormone Relaxin and its receptors on the body, as well as the effects of small molecule agonists and antagonists of said receptors.
Email: bho002@fiu.edu

 

Name: Janiel Akhin Chin-Tai
Year: 2014-16
Major: Biology
Research: Studying Heterospecific sexual selection in Gambusia Rhizophorae and Gambusia Holbrooki. Studies the difference between sexual preference and sexual choice and how that defines a species.
Email: jahki001@fiu.edu

 

Name: Jiali Lei
Year: 2014-16
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Minor: Chemistry
Research: Orai proteins, also known as channel proteins, are highly selective for calcium. The research is to focus on the association between Orai proteins/channels and Store-Operated Calcium Channels (SOC) in the endothelial cells, and to observe how such association affects homeostasis.
Email: jlei002@fiu.edu

 

Name: Marisol Soula
Year: 2014-16
Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Chemistry
Research: The lab studies motor development in children and nonhuman primates, particularly how the hands are controlled.
Email: msoul004@fiu.edu

 

Name: Ricardo Perez Dulzaides
Year: 2014-16
Major: Biological Sciences
Research: Proteomic analysis of host microbe interactions. Specifically, the widespread endosymbiont "Wolbachia popentis" and its insect host "Drosophila melanogaster"
Email: rpere312@fiu.edu

Past MARC U*STAR Fellows



 

 

Name: Liana Apolis
Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry
FIU Research: My research involves the inhibition of the signaling process called quorum sensing (QS) which may be a novel way to attenuate infectious diseases as interrupting the QS pathway has the potential to downregulate bacterial pathogenicity without selecting for antibiotic resistance
Email: lapol003@fiu.edu

 

 

Name: Richard Barrios
Major: Biology and Chemistry
FIU Research: I perform cancer research in Dr. Jeremy Chamber's laboratory that will help further explain the role of the mitochondria in cancer cells. Currently I am helping to piece together a signaling pathway between the mitochondria and monocarboxylase transporter 1 (MCT1). 
Email: rbarr024@fiu.edu

Name: Ruslan Garcia
Major: Biology

Minor: Religious Studies
FIU Research: With the use of transgenic mice that model human skin accurately, our laboratory is trying to uncover the mechanism by which primary melanocytic lesions metastasize.
Email: rgarc100@fiu.edu

 

 

Name: Aneysis Gonzalez
Major: Biology

Minor: Psychology and Chemistry
FIU Research: I study the relationship between mitochondrial c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) and scaffold-binding protein Sab. Also, we look at the effect of a complex 1 inhibitor (Rotenone) on the metabolism of the mitochondria and the overall impact on a cell's viability.
Email: agonz227@fiu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Daniel Gonzalez
Major: Biology

Minor: Psychology and Chemistry
FIU Research:I am working in Dr. Landrum's lab and we are investigating the different properties of carotenoids and their role in protecting individuals from macular degeneration. The carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin accumulate in the human retina via unknown processes. Evidence supports their protective role towards photoreceptor outer segments and the retinal pigment epithelium. They do this by both acting as a barrier to the harmful effects of blue wavelengths of light and by acting as antioxidants to reduce photooxidative stress.  
Email: dgonz099@fiu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Ivana Lamboglia
Major: Biology
FIU Research: Examining the changes in the enzymatic activities of JH in the corpora allata of female Aedes aegypti during different developmental stages
Email: ilamb001@fiu.edu

 

 

 

Name: Ivonne Lollett
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry
FIU Research: My research focuses on the identification and characterization of proteases involved in the regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) cascade responsible for alginate regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Email: iloll001@fiu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Heysell Ortiz
Major:Biology and Chemistry
FIU Research: Organic Synthesis
Email: horti004@fiu.edu

 

 

Name: Kymberlee Osborne
Major: Chemistry

Minor: Biology
FIU Research: Characterizing pigments of  coral black band disease (BBD) cyanobacterial associates and reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay development.
Email: kymberleea.osborne@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Name: Daniel J. Tapanes
Major: Biology and Anthropology

Minor: Chemistry
FIU Research: I work in the lab of Charles H. Bigger, Ph.D., studying the comparative immunology of soft coral. Our current model system is Swiftia exserta, a cnidarian indigenous to the Caribbean basin and found throughout the Florida Keys. I am currently researching the transfer of adoptive memory using tissue grafts as well as the interrupted immune response.
Email: DTapa001@fiu.edu

 

 

 

 

Name: Patricia Theard
Major: Biology and Chemistry
FIU Research: Organic chemistry of nucleosides and nucleotides with applications in biochemistry and in anticancer and antiviral medicine. Primary research is centered on intuitive a priori design and synthesis of nucleoside analogues constructed with features that are chemically activated in the initial steps of an enzyme mechanism where spontaneous subsequent reactions cause enzyme inactivation.
Email: patritheard@hotmail.com

Name: Chavely Valdes Sanchez
Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry
FIU Research: I am currently in Dr. Irina Agoulnik´s lab and our main focus is on potential hormone therapies to treat prostate cancer. In addition, my research project is focused on the effect that DAX-1 (nuclear receptor protein)  has on migration, invasion and proliferation of prostate and ovarian cancers.
Email: cvald024@fiu.edu