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Professional Summary

I am an immunologist by training with 13 years of experience working at the intersection of immunology, public policy, and diplomacy. As a policy expert at the government relations firm Lewis-Burke, I leverage my biomedical research background to bolster issue expertise of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). I'm also an advocate for women and Latinos in science serving on several advisory boards that focus on increasing diversity in science, alerting the public and scientific community about federal and local policies that are relevant to science and Puerto Rico as a member of the “Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network (PR-SPAN)”, and promoting science diplomacy in Latin America as a member of the Science Diplomacy Network in Latin America and the Caribbean. My passions are science communication, science policy, and science diplomacy.

Luz

Professional Summary

I am an immunologist by training with 13 years of experience working at the intersection of immunology, public policy, and diplomacy. As a policy expert at the government relations firm Lewis-Burke, I leverage my biomedical research background to bolster issue expertise of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). I'm also an advocate for women and Latinos in science serving on several advisory boards that focus on increasing diversity in science, alerting the public and scientific community about federal and local policies that are relevant to science and Puerto Rico as a member of the “Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network (PR-SPAN)”, and promoting science diplomacy in Latin America as a member of the Science Diplomacy Network in Latin America and the Caribbean. My passions are science communication, science policy, and science diplomacy.

Luz

Education & Training

2016 – 2021

Ph.D. in Immunology - Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (MCGSBS), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Advisors: Dr. Ian F. Parney and Dr. Aaron J. Johnson

2014 – 2016

PREP - Post - Baccalaureate Research Education Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Advisor: Dr. Aaron J. Johnson

2012 – 2013

MS - Investigation and Advances in Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.
Advisor: Dr. Jaime Sancho Lopez

2008 – 2012

BS - Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Science and Technology Universidad Metropolitana, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Advisor: Dr. Luis Cubano

Professional Experience

2021 – Present

Policy Expert at the government relations firm Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, specializing in public policy and advocacy for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies

2021

Peer coach for iBiology Share Your Research (SYR) science communication online training

2020 - 2021

Fellow at the government relations firm Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, specializing in public policy and advocacy for the NIH and other HHS agencies

2018 – 2020

Teaching Assistant for the MCGSBS graduate-level course “Introduction to Regulatory Science - Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

2019

Medical Spanish Tutor- Student Services, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science - Rochester, MN

2014

Professor/Research Assistant at Qiannan Normal College for Nationalities - Duyun, China

2013

Research Assistant at Universidad Central del Caribe - Bayamon, PR

2008 – 2012

Spanish tutor and Professor Assistant (Learning Zone Título V Campus) Universidad Metropolitana - San Juan, PR

Selected Leadership Appointments

2020 – Present

Mentor for Seeds of Success: STEM Girl Ambassador Program - Online mentorship program for middle and high school girls in Puerto Rico to learn more about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)

Member of the Science Diplomacy Network in Latin America and the Caribbean

2019 – Present

Member of the Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network (PR-SPAN)

2017 – 2021

Member of the Office of Research Diversity and Inclusion (ORDI) Advisory Committee - Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Member of the Student Services Advisory Board - MCGSBS

2018 – 2019

Mayo Research Fellow Association (MRFA) Representative for the MCGSBS Graduate Student Association

2010

Honor’s Student Association Vice President (Universidad Metropolitana - San Juan, PR)

Student Council Vice President (Universidad Metropolitana - San Juan, PR)

Selected Honors, Awards & Fellowships

2021

“First Place” at the 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Student E-Poster Competition, held at the AAAS Conference – Virtual Event

Accepted into the First Edition of the Science Diplomacy Course organized by the Embassy of Ecuador in India

2020

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) 2020 Science Defender

iBiology Young Scientist Virtual Training Series Fellow

National Science Policy Network (NSPN) SciPol Scholars-in-Residence (SPSR) Program Fellow

“Honorable Mention” at the 2020 AAAS Student E-Poster Competition, held at the AAAS Conference in Seattle, WA

American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Minority Scientist Travel Award and Trainee Poster Award to attend the 2020 AAI Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii (Conference canceled)

Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Award to attend the 2020 AAAS Conference in Seattle, WA

2019

NSPN Professional Development Award to attend the 2020 AAAS Conference in Seattle, WA

MCGSBS Career Development Internship (CDI) Travel Award to attend the 2020 AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy for Science & Engineering (CASE) Workshop in Washington, DC (Postponed)

Minority Travel Award to attend the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Public Policy Institute in Washington, DC

Awarded the NIH Ph.D. Training Grant in Basic Immunology (T32 AI07425-23) - Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Advocacy Training Program (ATP) Fellow

International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) US-Canada Regional Committee (USRC) Fellowship for Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP) Scholars to attend the 2019 International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) Meeting in Kyoto, Japan

“Young Investigator Award” and Scholarship to attend the 2019 ISEV Meeting in Kyoto, Japan

2018

“Top Poster Award” at the 2018 Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Conference

Travel Award to attend the 3rd International Conference of Women in Science without Borders (WISWB) - Cairo, Egypt 2019

Travel award for the NSPN Annual Symposium - Rockefeller University, NY

Awarded a full scholarship to participate in the 2018 Women’s Leadership Program: Mujeres de “HACE” (Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement) - Minneapolis, MN

Awarded the NIH Ph.D. Training Grant in Basic Immunology (T32 AI07425-23) - Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Early Career Investigator Scholarship Award sponsored by the Brandt Family Scholars Fund - Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine (CIM) Conference - Rochester, MN

Selected by the Yale-Mayo Clinic Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) for the 2018-2019 Scholars Award Program

AAAS Science Diplomacy & Leadership Workshop Fellow

AAI Trainee Abstract Award to attend the 2018 AAI Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas

Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship & Mayo Clinic Office of Research Diversity and Inclusion Women’s Leadership Program Fellow

2017

Selected to participate in the Purdue online course “Big Data for Translational Omics Research”. Travel award to on-site workshop included (West Lafayette, Indiana)

Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) Travel Award to attend the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) meeting in Philadelphia, PA

“Runner-up” 3-minute thesis (3MT) competition, MCGSBS Symposium

Travel Award for the 2017 James W. Freston Single Topic Conference-Extracellular Vesicles: Biology, Translation and Clinical Applications in GI disorders at Saint Paul, MN

Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP) Fellowship (Awarded for 2 years) - Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Travel Scholarship to the 2017 StratCan Interactive Summer School on Cancer Genomics at Karolinska Institutet, and the High Throughput Biology meeting at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm (Stockholm, Sweden)

2016

“Best Immunology Poster Presentation” at the MCGSBS Symposium

Travel scholarship to the Society for Advance of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Conference in Long Beach, California

Yale Ciencia Academy Fellow (year -long program)

“Dean’s Fellowship”- Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), MCGSBS - Rochester, MN

2015

1 of the 10 outstanding young people of Puerto Rico - Junior Chamber International of Puerto Rico (JCI) and The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) Award