Minority Opportunities in Biomedical Research Programs

Current R.I.S.E. Fellows


Name: Andres Arango

Year: Senior, BS
Major: Physics and Chemistry

Minor: Biology
Research: Biophysics
Email: aaran019@fiu.edu

Name: Maria Areiza

Year: Graduate Student, MS
Major: Biological Sciences
Research: I work with Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, an important disease vector of tropical diseases such as yellow fever and dengue.  Juvenile Hormone III (JH) is a master regulatory hormone in insects that controls metamorphosis and reproduction.  My work focuses on elucidating the role that Ecdysis triggering hormone (ETH) plays in the synthesis of JH.
Email: mareiza@gmail.com

Name:Ana Paula Benaduce

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Biology
Research: The main focus of my research is the development of a UV induced melanoma mouse model that combines Nucleotide Excision Repair deficiency with the over-activation of the Edn3 pathway.
Email: adasi004@fiu.edu

Name: Kevin Casin

Year: Senior, BS
Major: Biology

Minor: English
Research: Linked between iron and tetracycline resistance in soil bacteria
Email: kcasi001@fiu.edu

Name: Boris Castillo

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Biology
Research: My project aims to elucidate the mechanism that causes abnormal activation of the small GTPase Ras protein in response to the presence of Reactive Oxygen Species using Dictyostelium discoideum as model organism.
Email: mareiza@gmail.com

Name: Aisleen Diaz

Year: Senior, BS
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry, Philosophy, Communications
Research: Investigating antibiotic resistant genes among microbes in relative pristine soils and its ecological significance of the soil resistome. Comparing diversity of antibiotic resistant genes in three different soil types from Miami-dade county using a community analysis.
Email: adiaz111@fiu.edu

Name: Adriana Galvis

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry
Research: I'm interested in examining the physiological significance of Ras Interference 1  (Rin1) in several cellular processes, including cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

Specifically, my research project focus on the role of Rin1 in the intracellular  signaling mechanisms required for the regulation of tyrosine kinase receptors.
Email: agalv004@fiu.edu

Name: Jennifer Gloudeman

Year: Senior, BS
Major: Chemistry

Research: TBAF promoted, Palladium catalyzed direct arylation of 5-Iodouracil
Email: jglou001@fiu.edu

Name: Javier How

Year: Sophomore, BS
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry
Research: I currently work on analysing the differences in spermatogonial stem cells between cryptorchid and wild-type testes, the former being a condition where one or both testes fail to descend. I look at their niche, in terms of various growth factors and hormones.
Email: jhow001@fiu.edu

Name: Elizabeth Jordan

Year: Junior, BS
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry
Research: The primary goal of my research is to confirm a non-random organization of chromosomes in human sperm. In these studies, flourescent in situ hybridization (F.I.S.H.) is used so that both a polar and radial analysis can determine the organization.
Email: ejord006@fiu.edu

Name: Eladio Mendez

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Chemistry
Research:  Conjugated Polymers (CPs) are an exciting new material in biomedical research, providing a bright, photostable, biocompatible platform for new fluorescent probes for cancer-specific cell imaging. Research focus is on CP aggregation control, color tuning, and improving cancer-cell specificity for the material. 
Email: emend004@fiu.edu

Name: Annia Mesa

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Biological Science
Research:  My research focuses on combining  molecular biology techniques and statistical methods as a tool to discriminate among autoimmune disorders with overlapping syndromes such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Email: amesa003@fiu.edu

Name: Nicole Millan 

Year: Senior, BS
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry and Psychology
Research:  My current project aims to determine whether a non-random genome organization exists in the spermatozoa of normozoospermic individuals. In the coming months, I plan to expand the project in the coming months to include patients with severely compromised semen parameters to determine whether alterations in organization show a correlation with the male infertility phenotype. These studies could provide a better understanding of the mechanistic basis of male-factor infertility and allow individuals and clinicians to make more informed choices regarding assisted reproductive technologies.
Email: nmill010@fiu.edu

Name: Carlos Parra

Year: Junior, BS
Major: Biological Sciences

Minor: Chemistry
Research: My research is overseen in the FIU Biomolecular Sciences Institute by Dr. Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh. My current work involves the investigation of the inhibiting capability of synthetic molecules and natural products towards type 1A topoisomerase of bacterial pathogens that may serve as the basis of novel antibacterial drugs.
Email: cparr011@fiu.edu

Name: Catherine Perez

Year: Senior, BS
Major: Biological Sciences

Minor: Chemistry
Research:  The aim of my research is to use pZXD99 (a derivative of plasmid pBR322) which was was previously created by in my lab Xiaoduo Zhi to first replace the phage T7 promoter with promoter PTac, an E. coli promoter that is IPTG-inducible; then to design a PLtetO-1 promoter to replace  S. typhimurium leu-500 between the HindIII and BamHI restriction sites; then to design two multiple cloning sites in order to replace the LacZ and Luciferase Genes; and to design separate origins that will replace pMB1 origin with p15A, pSC101 and a linear plasmid. 
Email: cpere087@fiu.edu

Name: Javier Pino

Year: Graduate Student, MS
Major: Biological Sciences
Research: The overall goal of my project is to understand how signaling pathways interact in order to regulate mammalian pigmentation. By determining the role of Endothelin 3 (Edn3) over expression in pigment production of the hair and skin of yellow mice. As well as, investigating if the over expression of Edn3 increases the DNA repair capacity of UV-induced melanocytes, both in vivo and in vitro.
Email: jpino004@fiu.edu

Name: Jesse Pulido

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Chemistry
Research:  I work on The synthesis and development of novel 4-N-amino modified Gemcitabine analogues for positron emission tomography based imaging.
Email: jpuli004@fiu.edu

Name: Tiana Ruiz 

Year: Sophomore, BS
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Research: Tiana Ruiz is currently involved with the design of microfluidic paper-based analytical devices. These low cost devices are used in the detection specific analytes within a sample of fluid. The biosensors are applied in the medical field for diagnostics as well as in measuring toxicity levels in the environment and in food.
Email: truiz006@fiu.edu

Name: Manuel Salinas 

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Research: My research area is in the field of cardiovascular mechanics. I am current working on a project titled Finite element Analysis of Stents for Use in Stent-Graft Aortic Implantation.
Email: msali007@fiu.edu

Name: Michael Suarez

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Developmental Psychology
Research: My current research focuses on identifying and testing indicators of emotional reactivity/fear in Northern bobwhite quail neonates (Colinus virginianus) to determine how these emotions can be expressed and altered during early development and throughout the lifetime. 
Email: msuar022@fiu.edu

Name: Karina Villalba

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major:
Research: My present research is on the analysis of the reward deficiency pathway and its genetic deviations in alcohol dependence. 
Email: kvill012@fiu.edu

Name: Ashley Wardlow 

Year: Junior, BS
Major: Chemistry
Research: Studying different aspects of human genetic diversity. Researching methods to study genetic variations among human groups, especially those in the process of extinction mainly by admixture with other populations.
Email: wardlow04@yahoo.com

Name: Jessica Zayas

Year: Graduate Student, PhD
Major: Chemistry
Research: Working on a new face of S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine and am synthesizing constrained analogues of SAM.
Email: jzaya003@fiu.edu

Former R.I.S.E. Fellows


Name: Mitch Fernandez

Year: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences and Chemistry

Minor: Computer Science
Research: Metagenomic analysis of the human airways in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Discovery of protein substructures by data mining.
Email: mfern083@fiu.edu

Name: Tonya D. Fotinos

Year: Graduate Student
Major:
Research: My research focuses on utilizing novel methods to investigate plant genetics.  Currently I am working on the endangered Key Tree cactus, Pilosocereus robinii.
Email: tonya.fotinos@gmail.com

Name: Florencia Goluboff

Year: Senior
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Minor: Chemistry
Research: Large Scale Ion Channel Gene Expression in the Endothelium of Hypertensive Rats
Email: fgolu001@fiu.edu

Name: Janelis Gonzalez

Year: Senior
Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry
Research: I am currently working with multiple-antibiotic resistant soil bacteria found in Miami-Dade soils.  I am surveying tetracycline-resistance genes in these bacteria and comparing them across the soil community to discover the most likely manner of acquisition of antibiotic-resistance genes and the implications that follow this genetic inheritance.
Email: jgonz228@fiu.edu

Name:Emanuel Martinez

Year: Senior
Major: Psychology & Biology

Minor: Chemistry
Research:  The aim of my research is to find a molecular marker that is able to distinguish between Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which are both autoimmune disorders. This molecular marker is called the U1 snRNP, which is a molecule that makes up the spliceosome and it has been shown to be more reactive in patients who autoimmune diseases.
Email: emart049@fiu.edu

Name: Jairo Nelson 

Year: Senior
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Minor: Chemistry
Research:  Currently my research involves applying extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) to tumorogenic and neuronal tissues. The tumorogenic tissue's growth can be suppressed and killed by ELF fields without effecting normal tissue; making this a promising new cancer treatment. The second component of my project is to use ELF-EMFs stimulate the release of catecholamines from neuronal tissues
Email: soad1389@me.com

Name: Dharam Persaud

Year: Graduate Student
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Research:  Minimially Invasive Medical Devices, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Email: dharam_persaud10@msn.com

Name: Rigoberto Roche 

Year: Graduate Student
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Minor: Chemistry
Research: My project is the development of an integrative approach for optical image co-registration using a novel digitizer system towards real time imaging and 3D tomography applications for the purpose of imaging breast cancer using non-ionizing and non-invasive technology, in the form of a hand held near infrared spectroscopy imager. 
Email: rigo.j.roche@gmail.com

Name:Celisse Zabalo

Year: Senior
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Minor: Chemistry
Research: Impedance Analysis of Tumor Spheroids
Email: czaba003@fiu.edu