The Rio Piedras Campus is requesting funds for the competitive renewal of its MARC U*STAR program. In the past this program has been successful in enabling underrepresented Hispanic students to pursue graduate studies and close to 90% have pursued research doctorates. This, in part, has been accomplished by targeting students from the less advantaged high schools, recruiting the highly capable, providing them with experiences that reinforce their interest in research and finally knitting them into a cohesive group that encourages its own members to pursue graduate studies. The Rio Piedras MARC U*STAR program is proposing to continue to pursue following specific aims: 1) To increase the number of minority undergraduate students who pursue graduate studies leading to doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences, and 2) To increase the number of UPR-Rio Piedras undergraduates who are not only interested in, but highly capable of successfully pursuing biomedically relevant research careers. The first of these aims includes those objectives and activities which develop research skills in Juniors and Seniors. Since activities associated with a research experience are irreplaceable components in the development of future scientists, the program will continue to require a rigorous intramural experience that involves the completion of a specific project and includes an undergraduate dissertation. External experiences will also be required. However, the program will seek to improve this and other activities in order to assure that students have a better chance of becoming biomedical researchers. This will include, making better use of summer experiences, applying to graduate programs more suited to their needs and experience in the more complex instrumentation they will use in their graduate work.
The second aim i nvolves activities that should have an impact on the numbers of UPR-Rio Piedras Biology and Chemistry majors who are capable of pursuing research careers. These activities are directed to improving student performance and include: Freshman Mentoring, Summer Math Immersion for in-coming Freshmen and Curricular Enhancement.

Public Health Relevance

The fundamental goal of Rio Piedras MARC is to increase the numbers of underrepresented biomedical scientists with the highest academic and scientific knowledge and skill that allows them to enter the arena of competitive research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
MARC Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Grants (T34)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Minority Programs Review Committee (MPRC)
Program Officer
Gaillard, Shawn R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Juan
United States
Zip Code
Thapa, Bibek; Diaz-Diestra, Daysi; Santiago-Medina, Carlene et al. (2018) T1- and T2-weighted Magnetic Resonance Dual Contrast by Single Core Truncated Cubic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Abrupt Cellular Internalization and Immune Evasion. ACS Appl Bio Mater 1:79-89
Capó-Vélez, Coral M; Morales-Vargas, Bryan; García-González, Aurian et al. (2018) The alpha7-nicotinic receptor contributes to gp120-induced neurotoxicity: implications in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Sci Rep 8:1829
Colón, Jennifer M; González, Pablo A; Cajigas, Ámbar et al. (2018) Continuous tamoxifen delivery improves locomotor recovery 6h after spinal cord injury by neuronal and glial mechanisms in male rats. Exp Neurol 299:109-121
Rosado-Olivieri, Edwin A; Ramos-Ortiz, Gibram A; Hernández-Pasos, Josué et al. (2017) A START-domain-containing protein is a novel marker of nervous system components of the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 214:57-65
Cantres-Rosario, Yisel M; Acevedo-Mariani, Frances M; Pérez-Laspiur, Juliana et al. (2017) Microwave & magnetic proteomics of macrophages from patients with HIV-associated cognitive impairment. PLoS One 12:e0181779
Figueroa, C M; Suárez, B N; Molina, A M et al. (2017) Smart Release Nano-formulation of Cytochrome C and Hyaluronic Acid Induces Apoptosis in Cancer Cells. J Nanomed Nanotechnol 8:
Delgado-Rivera, Sara M; Pérez-Ortiz, Giovanny E; Molina-Villarino, Andrés et al. (2017) Synthesis and characterization of novel ferrocenyl chalcone ammonium and pyridinium salt derivatives. Inorganica Chim Acta 468:245-251
Colón, Jennifer M; Miranda, Jorge D (2016) Tamoxifen: an FDA approved drug with neuroprotective effects for spinal cord injury recovery. Neural Regen Res 11:1208-11
Castro-Pérez, Edgardo; Soto-Soto, Emilio; Pérez-Carambot, Marizabeth et al. (2016) Identification and Characterization of the V(D)J Recombination Activating Gene 1 in Long-Term Memory of Context Fear Conditioning. Neural Plast 2016:1752176
Padilla-Morales, Luis F; Colón-Sáez, José O; González-Nieves, Joel E et al. (2016) Assessment of the functionality and stability of detergent purified nAChR from Torpedo using lipidic matrixes and macroscopic electrophysiology. Biochim Biophys Acta 1858:47-56

Showing the most recent 10 out of 59 publications