Each MBRS-RISE student is assigned a mentor. Mentors serve as a source of knowledge and their goal is to help students develop the necessary skills to excel in Natural Sciences Research.

Biology Department Mentors


Dr. Héctor Ayala Del Río, Ph.D., 2005, Michigan State University
Areas of interest: Microbial community structure and function in tropical oxidation lagoons; Anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in oxidation lagoons; Community dynamics in bioreactor systems for toxic waste treatment; Diversity of tropical microbial communities; Bioinformatics and computational genomics.


Prof. Cedar García Ríos, M.S., 1984, University of Puerto Rico
Research topic: Biogeography of chitons.


Dr. Carmen J. Hernández Cruz, Ph.D., 1990, Fordham University
Research topic: Molecular characterization of Rana pipiens NK-1 and MUC3 receptors; Caveolin-1 expression in Trigeminal Ganglion of Rana pipiens; Anaerobic fermentation of glycerol byEscherichia coli; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF165) failed to revert the anti-proliferative action of tunicamycin in capillary endothelial cells.


Dr. Déborah Nieves, Ph.D., 2001, Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico
Areas of interest: Microbiology; Electronic Microscopy; Biotechnology.


Dr. Noemí Soto, Ph.D., 2008, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
Research topic: Characterization of NK-1 receptor inRana pipiens.


Dr. Edwin Traverso Avilés, Ph.D., 2003, Purdue University
Research topic: Studies on the function and regulation of the early development factor in amphibians: Tumorhead.


Dr. Esther Z. Vega Bermúdez, Ph.D., 1997, University of Puerto Rico
Research topic: Electrochemical detection of Salmonella.



Chemisty Department Mentors


Dr. Ajay Kumar, Ph.D., 2005, Choudhury Charan Singh University, Meerut, India
Research interest: Synthesis of bioactive heterocyclic macromolecule, Topo-II-Isomerase inhibitor, functionalized nanoparticle & drug delivery.



Dr. Antonio Alegría Gandía, Ph.D., 1976, University of Puerto Rico

Research topic: Study of the mechanisms of semiquinones in electron transfer reactions of biomedical relevance in function of their interactions with the enviroment.


Dr. Gabriel Barletta Bonanno, Ph.D., 1993, Rutgers
Research topic: Enzymes in organic solvents.


Dr. Tania Malavé Sanabria, Ph.D., 2002, Purdue University
Research topic: Chromatin involvement in Transcriptional Regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Dr. Margarita Ortiz Marciales, Ph.D., 1973, University of Alabama
Research topic: Synthesis of primary chiral amines.

Dr. Mirna Rivera Claudio, Ph.D., 1987, University of Puerto Rico
Research topic: Studies of ferrocene derivatives.


Dr. Rolando J. Tremont, Ph.D., 2002, University of Puerto Rico
Research topic:



Mathematics Department Mentors

Dr. Alberto Cáceres Díaz, Ph.D., 1974, University of Notre Dame
Areas of interest: Permutation polynomials on Galois fields; Error-correcting codes; Probability and Theory of Risk



Dr. Pablo V. Negrón Marrero, Ph.D., 1985, University of Maryland
Research topic: Nonlinear cantilever problem.


Physics Department Mentors

Dr. Ernesto Esteban Ávila, Ph.D., 1983, University of Notre Dame
Research topic: Biomathematical Models for Radiation-Induced Carcinogenesis Processes: We have modified Jones models by including mutations and repopulations of mutants and cancerous cells; Physics of Magnetized Black Holes: We use Einstein Gravitational Theory to study black holes immersed in external magnetic fields.


Prof. Juan A. González Sánchez, MS 2000, University of Puerto Rico.
Research topic: Medical Physics, Dosimeters and IMRT Dose Verification.


Dr. Rogerio Furlán, Ph.D., 1990, University of São Paulo
Research topic: Modeling nano and microfibers' deposition using processes assisted by electrical field; Electrospinning of polymeric and polymeric/DNA solutions using additional electrodes (directionality and alignment); Insertion of drops of polymeric solutions inside electric fields using nearmy micro and macro electrodes (directionality, alignment and shape control and scaffold formation).


Dr. Luis G. Rosa Rodríguez, Ph.D., 2005, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Research topic: Surface Science and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Nanolithography.



Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico Mentors

Dr. Dipak Banerjee
Research: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF165) failed to revert the anti-proliferative action of tunicamycin in capillary endothelial cells.