Research Meet & Greet with the Biology Faculty
Cholesterol—can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Investigations in several aspects of cholesterol trafficking:
* How and where cholesterol goes inside cells
* How the cell regulates synthesized and internalized cholesterol
* How changes in the distribution of cholesterol affect the function of certain proteins particularly in relation to certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease
* Population genetics and evolution of neotropical birds
* Compare, via in silico identification, virulence factors which are unique to Chlamydia species and allow for host adaptation
* Create Chlamydia virulence factors fusion with fluorescent proteins via in vitro moleculer cloning
* Contrast spatial and temporal regulation of Chlamydia virulence factors via in vivo over expression during infection and "immunity".
* Develop hybrid Chlamydia strains for in vivo screening of increased/decreased host specificity
* Electrophysiological characterization of individual neurons in the cardiac ganglion
* Analysis of changes in neuronal gene expression using PCR and immunohistochemistry
* Biochemical analysis of changes in protein levels using Western Blot analysis
* Identify trans-acting factors and cis-regulatory sequences involved in alternative splicing by high-throughput screening
* Examine the role of a key RNA Polymerase domain via high-throughput saturation mutagenesis
* Construct a complementation library for high-throughput cloning using transposon fragmentation
Animal personality and environment shaping animal movements
* Lab: personality of dwarf hamsters influencing social and foraging behaviors
* Field: wildlife personality in urban vs rural landscapes
* Field: habitat use and movement of mammals and amphibians
*Understanding protein signaling specificity and how developmental processes evolve.
Investigations on plant responses to the environment.
Current focus on:
* Impacts of introduced species in Puerto Rico
* Adaptations to seasonal freezing and drought
* Adaptation to UV radiation exposure in alpine ponds
* Divergence in thermal tolerance between lake and pond populations
* Molecular methods to measure DNA damage and identify species
How animal glues work: guiding the development of bioinspired adhesives
* Characterize the components of a biological secretion that forms an unusually tough glue
* Determine how different proteins and metal ions create toughness and adhesion in this glue
* Research on Puerto Rican Fan Flowers:
- Pollination Biology
- Genetic Diversity
- Impacts of Invasive Species on Islands
* Projects in Sustainability Science
* Computational biology: learn and apply bioinformatics and programming skills to genome-scale analyses in humans and model organisms.
* Developmental biology: analyze the roles of genes acting in sensory neuron development and tissue regeneration.