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LUZ M. CUMBA-GARCIA

MS | Mayo Graduate School Immunology Ph.D Candidate
2018- 2019 Yale-Mayo Clinic Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) Fellow
2017-2018 Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP) Fellow 
2018 AAAS Science Diplomacy and Leadership Alumni 
2017 Yale Ciencia Academy Alumni
Luz

Bio

Luz Milbeth Cumba Garcia is a third-year Immunology Ph.D. student at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (MCGSBS) in Rochester, MN. Originally from Puerto Rico, Luz graduated in 2012 from the Universidad Metropolitana with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, where she performed studies on HIV epidemiology that resulted in two publications.

Luz has conducted research in different countries including Brazil, Germany with the Nobel Laureate Harald zur Hausen, and Spain at the Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra. In 2013, Luz obtained her Master’s Degree from this institution. Her thesis project was recently published in the journal Nature-Scientific Reports. In 2014 she taught basic science skills to college students in China before being recruited to Mayo Clinic’s Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP/PostBac).​

She has been working at Mayo Clinic for 4 years now. During her first year at Mayo, Luz worked with Dr. Marina Ramirez Alvarado on amyloidosis disease. Then, she transitioned to the lab of Dr. Aaron Johnson where she worked on acute neuroinflammatory diseases, which resulted in two publications. She is currently working with Dr. Ian Parney, analyzing the molecular signature of plasma extracellular vesicles shed from glioblastoma tumors. She also has an interest in science policy and regulatory affairs. She enjoys traveling, shopping, writing on her blog and exercising.

Luz

Bio

Luz Milbeth Cumba Garcia is a third-year Immunology Ph.D. student at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (MCGSBS) in Rochester, MN. Originally from Puerto Rico, Luz graduated in 2012 from the Universidad Metropolitana with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, where she performed studies on HIV epidemiology that resulted in two publications.

Luz has conducted research in different countries including Brazil, Germany with the Nobel Laureate Harald zur Hausen, and Spain at the Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra. In 2013, Luz obtained her Master’s Degree from this institution. Her thesis project was recently published in the journal Nature-Scientific Reports. In 2014 she taught basic science skills to college students in China before being recruited to Mayo Clinic’s Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP/PostBac).​

She has been working at Mayo Clinic for 4 years now. During her first year at Mayo, Luz worked with Dr. Marina Ramirez Alvarado on amyloidosis disease. Then, she transitioned to the lab of Dr. Aaron Johnson where she worked on acute neuroinflammatory diseases, which resulted in two publications. She is currently working with Dr. Ian Parney, analyzing the molecular signature of plasma extracellular vesicles shed from glioblastoma tumors. She also has an interest in science policy and regulatory affairs. She enjoys traveling, shopping, writing on her blog and exercising.

My Research

My research aims to characterize extracellular vesicles, or EVs, which are tiny particles shed from brain tumors that can be found in the blood. Tumor EVs are messengers that send signals throughout the whole body to promote tumor growth and shut down anti-tumor immune responses. By analyzing the vesicles extracted from blood, it may be possible to identify if there is a tumor, what type of tumor it is, if it’s progressing, if the treatment is working, and how is the tumor suppressing the immune system. The information we get from analyzing the EVs can be used to provide early treatment to patients that need it and prevent unnecessary treatment to those who don’t.

Luz Cumba-Garcia at the AAI StoryBooth 2018

Luz Cumba-Garcia at 2018 NSPN Annual Symposium

Women Leadership Development

Capita3 Leader Launch Program / Mayo Clinic
Sep 4 - Sep 25, 2018
Rochester, MN

Mujeres de HACE
Aug 22- Dec 11, 2018
Minneapolis, MN

Upcoming Meetings

International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) Meeting
April 24-28, 2019
Kyoto, Japan

Past Meetings

3rd International Conference of Women in Science without Borders (WISWB)
March 10-14, 2019
Cairo, Egypt

AAAS Annual Meeting
Feb 14-17, 2019
Washington, DC

Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Annual Meeting
November 15-18, 2018
New Orleans, Lousiana

Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting
November 3-7, 2018
San Diego, California

SEPA & NSPN Second Annual Science Policy Symposium
November 10, 2018
New York, NY

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (MCGSBS) Symposium
September 26, 2018
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Individualizing Medicine Conference
September 12-13, 2018
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

24th Annual Mayo Clinic and Karolinska Institutet Scientific Meeting
September 10th-11th, 2018
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Latest Posts


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¡Hola Jevas! Mi nombre es Luz Milbeth Cumba García (@lmilbeth @scitopia) y aunque no lo parezca soy una científica boricua. Soy inmunóloga, o sea, que trabajo con enfermedades del sistema inmunitario, como el cáncer. Actualmente me encuentro en la Clínica Mayo (@mayoclinic) en Rochester, Minnesota (¡sumamente frío!) haciendo mi doctorado en Inmunología. Mi tésis se enfoca en diagnosticar tumores cerebrales agresivos como glioblastoma (GBM) de forma no invasiva, estudiando pequeñas partículas que se encuentran en la sangre, llamadas exosomas. ¡Imagínate saber si tienes cáncer y si el tratamiento te funciona con tan sólo una muestra de sangre! ¡Estamos en el proceso de patentarlo y comenzar una compañía muy pronto! Mis amigos cercanos me apodan Carmen Sandiego ya que nunca saben en qué parte del mundo estoy metida; gracias a las ciencias he tenido la oportunidad de viajar constantemente y conocer lugares que nunca imaginé. Soy de Carolina y estudié en la Universidad Metropolitana mi bachillerato en Biología Celular y Molecular. Allí tuve la oportunidad de pertenecer a la Beca de Ciencias y de hacer 4 internados de verano en USA, España, Alemania y Brasil. En Alemania trabajé con el Premio Nobel de Medicina, Harald zur Hausen, quien descubrió el rol del virus de papiloma humano en cáncer cervical (bien importante para nosotras, jevas). Hice mi maestría en Granada, España donde además de disfrutar de buena ciencia, me deleité con las tapas. Luego de eso, me fui a China por 4 meses a enseñar destrezas básicas de investigación a estudiantes de primer año en ciencias. Además de la investigación, me apasiona la regulación y la diplomacia científica. Mi meta es trabajar con el gobierno para el avance de la ciencia, fomentando colaboraciones científicas con otros países. Mi mayor anhelo es seguir representando a la mujer latina (y puertorriqueña) en las ciencias donde quiera que vaya. He tenido la bendición de recibir muchos premios y reconocimientos, pero nada se compara con la satisfacción de ayudar a otros y de amar lo que haces. Visiten mi página luzcumbagarcia.com para que estén al tanto de mis próximas aventuras. ¡Washington, DC, Egipto y Japón son las próximas!

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