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Meet the Team

We seek to foster a research environment in which each team member can become an independent thinker, leader, and future mentor. We advocate for multidisciplinary and collaborative research and strongly believe that diversity and inclusion are key for innovation.


Imilce A. Rodriguez-Fernandez

Principal Investigator

Originally from Guayama, Puerto Rico

B.Sc. | Microbiology, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Ph.D. | Human Genetics, University California, Los Angeles

Postdoc | Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato CA & Genentech, Inc. South San Francisco, CA. Aging and stem cell research

Outside the lab | love painting, gardening, enjoys the great outdoors, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, watching documentaries & traveling.


Natalia Peta

Master's student

Originally from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico

B.Sc. | Biology (major), Psychology (minor), Iowa State University

M.S. (in progress) | Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Outside the lab | love to spend time with friends and family, play sports, exercise, model, go to the beach, watch movies, and travel.


Melanie Reinoso Arnaldi

Master's Student

Originally from Carolina, Puerto Rico

B.Sc. | Biology - Human Approach, University of Puerto Rico Bayamón.

M.S. (in progress) | Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Outside the lab | love reading, watching movies, drawing, listening to music and audiobooks, video gaming and traveling.

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Astrid Gonzalez-Castro

Undergraduate Researcher

Originally from Carolina, Puerto Rico

B.Sc. (in progress) | Interdisciplinary Program in Natural Sciences, with a minor in Medical and Health Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

Outside the lab | I love makeup, road trips, and traveling with my fam.

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Cecilia M. Fadhel-Alvarez

Undergraduate researcher, NSF IDgene Program

Originally from Ciales, Puerto Rico.

B.Sc. (in progress) | Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

​Outside the lab | I love sports, especially soccer, and enjoy writing, skating, and going on road trips.

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Naomi Zoé Serrano Colón

PhD student

B.Sc. | Integrative Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.

Ph.D. (in progress) | Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Outside the lab | I love outdoor activities like camping and go to the beach, working out, watching movies and photography.

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Maria V. Mendoza Dasilva

Undergraduate researcher


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Patricia Pujols

PhD student


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Luna Segarra Alonzo

Undergraduate Researcher


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Kerianalee Rivera-Cruz

Undergraduate Researcher



Jan Bilbao Del Valle

Undergraduate Researcher

Originally from Las Piedras, PR.

B.Sc. (in progress) | Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Outside the lab | I like to go to the beach, hang out with friends, cook, and play videogames.

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Xavier Maldonado Ramírez de Arellano

Undergraduate Researcher


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Merliz M. Pérez Vázquez

Undergraduate Researcher

Originally from Ciales, Puerto Rico

B.Sc. (In progress) | Physics with a minor in Medical and Health Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. 

Outside the lab | Musicals enthusiast, I’m always listening to music and I’m a Ravenclaw. ACOTAR is my safe reading space, love to travel and spending time with family and friends. Also love being in nature.

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Yadiel Benítez Colón

Undergraduate researcher

Originally from Canóvanas, Puerto Rico

B.Sc. (In Progress) | Major in Celular Molecular Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.

About Me | Video Game enthusiast who also loves to travel and has visited more than 40 countries. I love the immune system and I'm very close to my family.


Chrisnelly Salgado Rosado

Undergraduate researcher



Carlos Quiñones-Sanchez

Post-bac researcher, NSF Ramp-UP



Angel Torres Román

PhD student researcher (rotation)



Charles Pfeiffer

Summer 2023 Undergraduate Researcher, NSF IQBIO-REU


Team: Our Team

Past Team Members

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Angelie Nuñez-Colon

Summer undergraduate researcher, NSF IQ-Bio REU program

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Kysha M Fernadez Adorno

Volunteer Research Assistant

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Camila Colon-Ortiz

Undergraduate Researcher

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Ricardo Rubin Balardin

Ph.D. student researcher

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Arianna Cruz-Rotger

Undergraduate Researcher

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Caroline Casiano-Rivera

Undergraduate Researcher

Team: Our Team
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