Expert Details

Expert in Applied Molecular Biology, Recombinant DNA Technology, Genetically Engineered Organisms

Expert ID: 735927 California, USA

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I have a Ph.D. in Public Health with a major in infectious diseases. My research is focused on insect molecular genetics, vector biology and the development of synthetic approaches to prevent transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. I have been active in mentoring numerous undergraduate students at UCI and have had a positive influence on their career trajectories. I enjoy training and teaching new recruits in the field. I provided the intellectual input for the project design and daily guidance to the students. I have been responsible for planning experiments, data analysis, manuscript preparation and data presentation at meetings for many projects. I have the ability to coordinate several activities and teamwork. I, therefore, have an established track record as a research scientist capable of leading independent studies and providing academic preparation for future young scientists of this country.

My current scientific training and expertise as a researcher and mentor are focused primarily on two areas: 1) insect molecular genetics and vector biology and 2) crop pests.

I have a broad experience in molecular biology, transgenesis, genetic modification, and the development of new synthetic technologies such as gene drives for the control of infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue. I have a strong background in molecular entomology and insect control, specialized in mosquito populations. contributed articles to some of the most prestigious scientific journals in the field of biology. These include: Cell and Molecular Life Sciences, the 7th ranked scientific journal in Molecular Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, and Pharmacology, as well as the 36th, ranked journal in Cell Biology; PLoS One, the 3rd ranked scientific journal in Agricultural and Biological Sciences, and 13th ranked journal in Biochemistry, Genetics, and Molecular Biology; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the 3rd ranked scientific journal of multidisciplinary focus; Insect Molecular Biology, the 12th ranked scientific journal in Insect Sciences, Pathogens, and Global Health, the 29th ranked scientific journal in Parasitology; Plant Methods, the 25th ranked scientific journal in both Plant Science and Biotechnology and countless others.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Irvine, CA - Los Angeles, CA - San Diego, CA - Riverside, CA

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Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2008 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Public Health, Infectious diseases Institution: Centro de Investigación Sobre Enfermedades Infecciosas del Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (CISEI-INSP), Mexico
Year: 2002 Degree: Master of Science Subject: Molecular Pathogenesis Institution: Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis, Mexico
Year: 2000 Degree: Bachelor of Science Subject: Biology Institution: Universidad Simon Bolivar, Mexico

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2019 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Specialist III Department: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Responsibilities: Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for population modification in the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Insect transgenesis, genetically modified organisms. Recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing, molecular analysis. Scientific staff management.
Years: 2018 to 2019 Employer: University Of California Irvine Title: Specialist I Department: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Responsibilities: Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for population modification in the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Insect transgenesis, genetically modified organisms. Recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing, molecular analysis. Scientific staff management.
Years: 2017 to 2018 Employer: University Of California Irvine Title: Project Scientist Department: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Responsibilities: Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for population modification in the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Insect transgenesis, genetically modified organisms. Recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing, molecular analysis. Scientific staff management.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1981 to 2017 Country / Region: Italy Summary: Postdoctoral Associate. University of Pavia, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani. Population genomics of co-evolution between non-retroviral RNA viruses and their host
Years: 2014 to 2015 Country / Region: Italy Summary: Postdoctoral Associate. Polo d’Innovazione de Genomica, Genetica e Biologia. Effects of Drosophila gypsy insulator on male transgenic mosquitoes to overcome meiotic sex chromosome inactivation
Years: 2014 to 2016 Country / Region: Mexico Summary: Postdoctoral Associate. Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis. Scaffold proteins in mosquitoes
Years: 2009 to 2011 Country / Region: Mexico Summary: Postdoctoral Associate. Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis. Identification of over-expressed cystein rich proteins in Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Leishmania mexicana and Leishmania major as response for oxidative and nitrosative stress. Participation of EhCBP30 during nitrosative and oxidative stress in Entamoeba histolytica.

Career Accomplishments

Professional Appointments
Specialist III July 2019 – PRESENT
University of California Irvine, USA — PI: Anthony James, PhD
Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for population modification in the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae

Specialist I May 2018 – June 2019
University of California Irvine, USA — PI: Anthony James, PhD
Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for population modification in the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae

Project Scientist June 2017 – April 2018
University of California Irvine, USA — PI: Anthony James, PhD
Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for population modification in the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae

Postdoctoral Associate September 2016 – May 2017
University of Pavia, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, Italy — PI: Mariangela Bonizzoni, PhD
Population genomics of co-evolution between non-retroviral RNA viruses and their host

Postdoctoral Associate August 2014 – July 2016
Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis, Mexico — PI: Fidel de la Cruz Hernandez-Hernandez, PhD
Scaffold proteins in Aedes aegypti

Postdoctoral Associate February 2011 – January 2016
University of California Irvine, USA — PI: Anthony James, PhD
Effects of exogenous insulator DNA on mosquito transgene expression, chromatin modeling, insulators

Postdoctoral Associate August 2014 – July 2015
Polo d’Innovazione de Genomica, Genetica e Biologia, Italy — PI: Philippos Papathanos, PhD
Effects of Drosophila gypsy insulator on male transgenic mosquitoes to overcome meiotic sex chromosome inactivation

Postdoctoral Associate July 2009 – January 2011
Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis, Mexico — PI: Jose Luis Rosales-Encina, PhD
Identification of over-expressed cystein rich proteins in Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Leishmania mexicana and Leishmania major as response for oxidative and nitrosative stress. Participation of EhCBP30 during nitrosative and oxidative stress in Entamoeba histolytica.

Research Assistant August 2001 – August 2002
Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Department of Infectomic and Molecular Pathogenesis, Mexico — PI: Fidel de la Cruz Hernandez-Hernandez, PhD

Awards / Recognition
SNI Researcher Level I, National System of Researchers (SNI)
CEA Member, CONACYT
Postdoctoral fellowship, Marie Curie- iMOVE
Postdoctoral fellowship, CONACYT
Postdoctoral fellowship, UC MEXUS – CONACYT
Postdoctoral fellowship, CONACYT
Special mention for PhD research, INSP
First prize in the Biomedic Area, Secretaria de Salud
Fellowship, CONACYT
Fellowship, CONACYT
Publications and Patents Summary
1) Global governing bodies: a pathway for gene drive governance. 2020. Submitted.
2) Tracing temporal and geographic distribution of resistance to pyrethroids in the arboviral vector Aedes albopictus. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2020. Submitted.
3) Digital Droplet PCR and IDAA for the detection of CRISPR indel edits in the malaria species. Biotechniques. 2020. In Press.
4) Polymorphism analyses and protein modelling inform on functional specialization of Piwi clade genes in the arboviral vector Aedes albopictus. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2019.

*More available upon request.

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
ACADEMIC EVENTS ATTENDED
1) Malaria Transmission Blocking Assay Convening. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Seattle, WA. September 24th-25th, 2019.
2) Gene drive Modeling Conference. ILSI Research Foundation. Washington DC, USA. June 11-12, 2019.
3) Critical Conversation: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes. Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment. University of Illinois. Chicago, Illinois, USA. May 23-24, 2019.
4) FNIH workshop "Data Needs and Assay Design for Decision Making on Gene Drive-Modified Mosquitoes". Irvine, California, USA. May 6-7, 2019.
5) Mosquito population modification and the Malaria Eradication Agenda. Gordon Research Conference on Tropical Infectious Diseases. Galveston, Texas, USA. March 24 – 29, 2019.
6) Expanding roles for kynurenine metabolites of tryptophan in disease vector mosquitoes. Gordon Research Conference on Tropical Infectious Diseases. Galveston, Texas, USA. March 24 – 29, 2019.
7) Population modification of mosquitoes for malaria control in Africa. VCWG-RBM meeting. Geneva, Switzerland. January 30 – February 1st, 2019.
8) Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for Anopheles gambiae. UCI-Malaria Initiative. Irvine, California, USA. January, 2019
9) Capitalizing on Novel Technologies to Combat Malaria: Novel vector-based approaches to controlling malaria transmission. Symposium “Innovate for Collective Impact to End Malaria”. Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) and Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Washington, USA. January 11, 2019.
10) Role of population modification in the malaria eradication agenda. The Entomological Society of America (ESA). Vancouver, Canada. November 11-14, 2018.
11) Gene drives for public health- modifying vector populations. The Entomological Society of America (ESA). Vancouver, Canada. November 11-14, 2018.
12) Population modification of mosquitoes for malaria control. 3rd Meeting of the gene drive research sponsors and supporters forum (FNIH). Montreal, Canada. September 11-13, 2018.
13) Population modification of mosquitoes for malaria control. 14th International Congress of Parasitology. Daegu, Korea. August 19-24, 2018.
14) Identification of Ommachrome and Pteridine Pigment Pathway Metabolites in Wild Type and Mutant Strains. UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium (UROP). Irvine, California. May 19, 2018.
15) Population alteration of malaria vector mosquitoes. The WHO Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG). Geneva, Switzerland. May, 2018
16) Design of a Cas9-gene drive system. UCI-Malaria Initiative. Irvine, California, USA. January, 2018
17) Identification of genes expressed early in the germline of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae. 1st International workshop on insect genome editing. Shanghai, China. October, 2017
18) Design of a Cas9-gene drive system for Anopheles gambiae. UCI-Malaria Initiative. Irvine, California, USA. August, 2017.

*33 total. More available upon request.
Other Relevant Experience
TEACHING
1) Subject Professor
Course: Biotechnology (Academic Program of Master in Science; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
2) Subject Professor
Course: Molecular Biology (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
3) Subject Professor
Course: Chemistry (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
4) Subject Professor
Course: Biochemistry I (Biology undergraduate program; University Simon Bolivar, Mexico)
6) Subject Professor
Course: Genetics Laboratory (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
7) Subject Professor
Course: Chemistry (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
8) Subject Professor
Course: Molecular Biology (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
9) Subject Professor
Course: Biotechnology (Academic Program of Master in Science; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
10) Subject Professor
Course: Genetics (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
11) Subject Professor
Course: Chemistry (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
12) Subject Professor
Course: Cell Biology (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
13) Invited Lecturer
Course: Cell Biology II (Academic Program of Master in Science; CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico)
14) Invited Lecturer
Course: Molecular Genetics (Academic Program of Master in Science; INSP, Mexico)
15) Subject Professor
Course: Genetic Laboratory (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
16) Invited Lecturer
Course: Cell Biology II (Academic Program of Master in Science; CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico)
17) Invited Lecturer
Course: Bioinformatic and Genomic Applied to Vector Insect of human diseases (Academic Program of Master in Science; INSP, Mexico)
18) Subject Professor
Course: Cell Biology Laboratory (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)
19) Invited Lecturer
Course: Cell Biology II (Academic Program of Master in Science; CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico)
20) Subject Professor
Course: Biochemistry Laboratory (Biology undergraduate program; Simon Bolivar University, Mexico)

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English written, spoken
Spanish maternal language

Fields of Expertise

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