Expert Details

Expert in Molecular Biology and Genomics

Expert ID: 722085 Venezuela

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Expert is an expert in the manipulation of DNA, total RNA and mRNA, including isolation from different sources, such as saliva, brain, muscle, liver and blood, and their analysis by electrophoresis and Southern and Northern blotting. He has extensive experience in constructing cDNA and genomic DNA libraries using different systems and vectors. He also has a great deal of expertise in screening such libraries, isolating, subcloning and sequencing clones.

Expert’s Ph.D. thesis focused on the cloning, sequencing and expression of the chicken alfa-tropomyosin gene in different tissues during development. He has constructed and screened genomic libraries of M. leprae. Expert has taught practical and theoretical molecular biology at the undergrad and graduate level for over 15 years, and basic biochemistry for medical students for more than 23 years. This has allowed him to remain up-to-date in all the major developments in these areas of research. He edits and maintains a Web page dedicated to the general public where he talks about the impact of biotechnology on medicine and life in general.

He coordinated four International courses in genetic engineering sponsored by the Biotechnology Program for Latin America (BIOLAC) of the United Nations University. Those courses dealt with nucleic acids technologies, from DNA and RNA isolation to cDNA and genomic libraries construction, screening and gene isolation and sequencing. They also included PCR amplification and construction and use of DNA probes. During the last six years, Expert has been dedicated to the study of the relationship between stress, genotype and hypertension; in particular, the genotypes of the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensinogen, NO synthetase and other genes related to blood pressure homeostasis. In this research he extensively uses DNA isolation and storage, PCR amplification and electrophoresis. This research has led to six theses.

Recently, Expert has started a pharmacogenomic study analysing the relationship between different genotypes of the Renin-Angiotensin system and the response to drugs in hypertensive patients. In collaboration with his group, he is constructing a DNA database of different types of cardiovascular patients and normal controls. All patients are voluntary and sign an informed consent form and the confidentiality of the data is secure. He is also finishing a textbook for Spanish-speaking medical students, a vital necessity since most of the biochemistry textbooks are translated for English and dedicated to students with backgrounds that are vastly different from the Latin American students.

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Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1983 Degree: Ph.D, M.Sc. Subject: Molecular Biology Institution: University of California at Berkeley
Year: 1974 Degree: M.Sc. Subject: Biophysics Institution: University of Illinois
Year: Degree: Licenciate in Biology Subject: Biology Institution: Universidad Central de Venezuela

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1974 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Associate Professor Department: Physiological Siences Responsibilities: Expert teaches biochemistry and molecular biology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is the thesis adviser of undergrad and grad students.
Years: 1999 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Coordinator of the Bioethics and Biosafety Comission Department: Responsibilities: He coordinates the Bioethics and Biosafety Commission that oversees that all projects financed by (Undisclosed) comply with national and international rules of bioethics and biosafety.
The Commission also advises the Minister in matters related to those areas.
Years: 1999 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Venezuelan Representative to UNESCO´s Intergubernamental Bioethics Committee Department: Responsibilities: He attends the meetings of such Commission and advises the Ministery in the matters treated at such meetings.
Years: 1990 to 1994 Employer: CONICIT: National Council of Science and Technology Title: Coordinator of the Health Area in the CONICIT-International Bank of Development (IBD) Joint Project Department: Responsibilities: Expert reviewed the scientific projects in the Health-Molecular Biology area that were submitted to this joint agreement financed by the International Bank of Development and the National Council on Science and Technology of Venezuela. His duties were to analyse all aspects of scientific projects presented for financing to the program. In total, more than 100 projects were analyzed. He also reviewed the CVs of scholarship applicants to study abroad in this area, and advised the project head coordinators in policy matters.
Years: 1999 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Contributing Editor Department: Responsibilities: He created and maintains the Web page "Life and Molecular Medicine."
Additionally, Expert writes a monthly article in that area.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 1998 to 2001 Agency: National Council for Science and Technology (CONICIT) Role: Venezuelan Representative to the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (ICBG) of UNESCO Description: He advised the president of CONICIT on matters related to the bioethics on human cloning, stem cell research and human genome manipulation. Expert also assisted the second session of the ICBG and expressed the Venezuelan position on the named issues. In the process, he also learned the position of the other members of the committee.
Years: 1990 to 1994 Agency: National Council for Science and Technology (CONICIT) Role: Coordinator of the Health-Biotech Area for the IBD-CONICIT Treaty Description: Expert was in charge of reviewing all of the projects related to the Health-Biotech area of the International Bank of Development (IBD). During those four years he acquired profound experience in the design, planning, reviewing and management of projects in that area. In total, he analyzed more than 100 projects. Of those approved, all were successfully completed. Also, he had the opportunity of learning the state-of-the-art of biotech not only in Venezuela, but in Latin America as well.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1987 to 1987 Country / Region: New York, USA Summary: Expert was invited (for a second time) to Dr. Barry Bloom's laboratory at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Yeshiva University, to continue sequencing some clones of M. leprae.
Years: 1985 to 1985 Country / Region: New York, USA Summary: He was an invited researcher to Dr. Barry Bloom's laboratory at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Yeshiva University. He sequenced some clones of M. leprae that he isolated from a library he made.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
Spanish Because he was born and has lived most of his life in his native country, Venezuela, Expert is 100% proficient in reading, speaking and writing in Spanish.
English He spent two years at the University of Illinois and five at UC-Berkeley, while working toward his M.Sc. and Ph.D., respectively. Through this, he gained proficiency in speaking, reading and writing English. Also, Expert maintains a Web page in English.

Fields of Expertise

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