I started as new faculty, Assistant Professor and CAMPOS Faculty Scholar, at UC Davis in September 2014. What does it feel to be at UC Davis? Driving Westbound I-80 I saw a billboard “I was not born in California. California was born in me.” This summarizes somehow what I feel about being a CAMPOS Scholar at UC Davis: part of an amazing transformation aiming to change the face of STEM disciplines and academia, starting by and within UC Davis while setting a model for others to follow.
My research interest focuses on sexual dimorphisms in central nervous system (CNS) and their role in autoimmunity. I did my postdoctoral training in Neuroimmunology after a Ph.D. in Physiology & Neuroscience. I enjoyed my years in college majoring in Biology and History of Arts. Allover, I have more than 10 years of in-depth training in rodent models of neurological disorders, including trauma, chronic pain, and inflammatory-induced neurodegeneration. As a postdoc, I was able to implement a novel technique to assess blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in vivo in animal models of neuroinflammation. I also found dual-role of a chemokine receptor modulation on neuroinflammation and subsequent loss of axonal integrity. More interestingly, I unveiled some putative genes that may elucidate CNS autoimmunity sexual bias.
As personal interest, I love to cook Puerto Rican food and like to develop recipes with coconut milk, fish & seafood, plantain, “yuca” and other types of “vianda”. I also love tropical plants, specially anthuriums, heliconias and fern terrariums. Recently, I gained interest for tillandsia. I like hiking. I am also a self-taught opera aficionado -mostly Puccini, Verdi, and French masters- and a classic music enthusiast with a preference for Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Last but not least, I am a “cat person”.