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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Kysha M Fernandez Adorno

Volunteer Research Assistant

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico


B.Sc. | Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. 

Nuclear Medicine Technologist (in progress) | Nuclear Medicine Program, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
School of Health Professions


Outside the lab | love road trips, reading, watching movies, and shopping.

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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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Camila Colon-Ortiz

Undergraduate Researcher

Originally from Bayamon, Puerto Rico

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

Outside the lab | I like baking, traveling and, track and field

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Caroline Casiano-Rivera

Undergraduate Researcher

Originally from San Germán, Puerto Rico.

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

Outside the lab | I enjoy reading, hiking, and cooking. 

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Ricardo Rubin Balardin

Ph.D. student researcher (rotation)

Originally from Julio de Castilhos, RS, Brazil.

B.Sc. | Agronomy Engineering, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil.


M.S. | Soil Science (Soil Biology), Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil.

Ph.D. (in progress) | Biology, University of Puerto Rico Intercampus Doctoral Program, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Outside the lab | I love to cook, watch movies and animes, listening music, and play games in my free time.