- Specific focus in cell-based assays with primary cells, tissue-based assays, three-dimensional cultures and tissue bioengineering.
- Adult stem cell technology and tissue regeneration.
- Tissue bioengineering.
- Mouse models of cancer; cancer cell biology.
- Cellular chaperones and co-chaperones.
- Cell based assays and analytical method development.
- In vitro 3D models of disease for drug screening.
- Melanocytes and melanoma.
- Keratinocytes formation and function.
- Biology of hair follicle.
- Mesenchymal stem cells and wound healing.
- Natural phenolic compounds as biologics; wine compounds and melanoma.
- Murine neonate dermis in adult stem cells.
- Molecular biology: Expression constructs. PCR. RT-PCR, sequence analysis; data mining; transgenic mouse models; skin and hair follicle primary cellular populations; primary mammary epithelial cells; mammary whole mounts; Flow cytometry. Immunohistochemistry; immuno- fluorescence; Cconfocal microscopy; Immunoblotting.
- Drosophila neuromuscular system: Analysis of larval neuromuscular junction; analysis of larval brain and central nervous system cells; drosophila embryos.
- Tissue Bioengineering: Three-dimensional models of murine skin; three-dimensional models of cross-talk between human cancer cells; in vitro-in vivo wound healing, in vitro cell biology; Cellular adhesion and migration; apoptosis.
- Biochemistry skills: Antibody design and generation; enzymatic assays, binding assays and HPLC.
Independent Scientific Consultant, Present
- Consultant to the EU2013 - Researcher Careers and Mobility Conference in Dublin, Ireland.
- Scientific Advisor to Euraxess North America - Organized first Euraxess Links outreach conference in Omaha, Nebraska with attendance of Minister Counselor for Research and Innovation at the European Union Delegation to the U.S.A. Conference targeted to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, professors and university administrators.
- Advisor to the first Euraxess event, U.S.A Science Slam.
- Coordinating the team-write of a grant proposal for biomarker discovery in patient samples from BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers from Israel.
National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute), Bethesda, MD, 1996 - 2013
Staff Scientist, 2013
- Murine models of human disease and of drosophila neural biology.
- Discovered the neural function of a drosophila gene involved in muscle homeostasis.
- Developed a new transgenic mouse model to study the role of a cochaperone in breast development and hyperplasia.
- Published "In vitro three-dimensional models of cancer" about pre-clinical in vitro models of various cancers.
- Expert reviewer in tissue bioengineering and in basic cell biology of cancer.
- Responsible for creating a productive scientific environment in support of the laboratory's activities.
- Trained and supervised more than 30 undergraduate, graduate, medical students and technicians. Manage projects concurrently. Plan work assignments for team members.
- Determine if the appropriate experimental design was employed in the development and collection of data during unique and complex experiments.
- Developed multiple in vivo and in vitro models of processes involved in human disease.
- Developed novel flow cytometry methods to analyze drosophila brain cells.
- Principal investigator in NIH animal protocols. Prepared, submitted and obtained official approval for mouse protocols from Bethesda and Frederick Animal Care and Use Committees (ACUC).
- Submitted biannual updates and amendments to those protocols. Obtained NIH intramural funding for these research projects.
- Branch representative (about 10 laboratories) to the NCI Safety Committee. Use regulatory knowledge to ensure research activities are aligned with applicable laws, regulations, GLP, and policies.
- Group leader for the Medical Oncology Branch irradiator users - (Qualify as "trustworthy and reliable" in background investigation). Provide guidance to branch members in order to comply with state and federal regulations and policies.
- Review and implement laboratory SOPs-In charge of technology transfer (MTAs).
- Basic science team-lead, collaborated in pre-clinical and clinical-translational projects involving the discovery, development and evaluation of prevention and therapeutic strategies.
- Participated by invitation in "Major Opportunities for CCR Clinical Cancer Research Retreat" with the goal of providing advice to NCI senior management regarding NCI program portfolio in response to changes in levels of funding.
- NCI executive and leadership coaching program.
- Invited Senior Staff to the Medical Oncology Branch Retreat (MOB, NCI) aimed at the analysis and development of organizational and research group policies.
Research Fellow, 1996 - 2003
- Developed a mouse transgenic model of the tumor suppressor PML in the skin.
- Characterized PMLRARa transgenic mouse model of PML leukemia.
- Discovered adult mesenchymal stem cells in neonate murine dermis used for wound healing.
- Developed in vitro model of EGFR-mull mice hair follicle cells in three- dimensional (3D) skin cultures.
- Developed methods, in vivo and in vitro models to study modifiers of skin pigmentation with pharmacological and cosmeceutical applications to modify pigmentation (skin whitening).
- Participated in NCI cooperative agreement CRADA with Beiersdorf AG.
- Taught by invitation a one week long workshop at Beiersdorf AG Headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.
- Designed and generated polyclonal peptide antibodies against novel pigmentation and melanoma targets.
Honors & Publications
- Molecular biology: Design of Expression constructs. PCR. RT-PCR. Genotyping. Sequencing. Sequence analysis: Data mining (Blat, BLAST, Flybase, UCSC genome browser, ExPASy, Ingenuity).
- Cell Biology: In vitro cellular assays. Viability, invasion, adhesion and migration. Apoptosis. Flow Cytometry (Cell Quest, FloJo). Immunohistochemistry. Immunoflluorescence. Confocal Microscopy (Zeiss confocal scanning microscopes, 510, 710, LSM and Zen image software). Immunoblotting.
- Transgenic mouse models: Skin and hair follicle primary cellular populations. Mouse mammary gland development. Skin tumors (papilloma, carcinoma). Breast tumors. Ovarian tumors.
- Tissue Bioengineering: Three-dimensional (3D) models of murine skin. 3D models of functional cross talk between human cancer cells. 3D cancer models in agar and other biomatrices. 3D tissue models on various biosurfaces.
- Strong analytical writing and oral presentation skills.
- Spanish, very fluent
- German, novice
Academic and Professional Affiliations
- American Chemical Society - ACS
- American Association for Cancer Research - AACR
- Sigma Xi
- National Science Foundation panelist.
- Member of the editorial Board of 'World Journal of Orthopaedics' and 'Conference Papers in Medicine.'
- Panels to review research reports: Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE)
- Judge for the NIH National Graduate Student Research Conference.
- Session Chair-First Annual World Congress of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell, Foshan, China.
- Fulbright Scholar.
Publications and Patents
- Author and Co-Author of over 30 publications in peer reviewed journals, and college text books.
- Author and Presenter in numerous international conferences and symposia.
- Ph.D. Degree, Food Biochemistry, University of California, Davis, CA
- M.S. Degree, Food Science, University of California, Davis, CA
- B.S. Chemistry, Universidad Autnoma, Madrid, Spain