PROFILES - Connect with RTRN Researchers

Braulio Jimenez
Title Toxicologist
Faculty Rank Professor
Degree Ph.D
Institution University of Puerto Rico
Department Biochemistry
Clusters Genes and Environmental Health/Toxicology
University of Puerto Rico
Medical Sciences Campus, School of Medicine
Dep. of Biochemistry
P.O.Box 365067
City San Juan
State PR
Postal Code 00936
Telephone 787-758-2525 x-1235
Fax 787-274-8724
QR Barcode

Other Positions icon

Title Director
Institution Center for Environmental and Toxicological Research; University of Puerto Rico
Department Biochemistry
Title Professor
Institution University of Puerto Rico
Department Environmental Health
Division Public Health School
Title Director
Institution University of Puerto Rico
Department Biochemistry
Division Center for Environmental and Tox research

Awards and Honors icon

1988 Society for Technical Communication (Tn) Technical Communication Award
1994 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Toxicology
1994 University of Puerto Rico Scholarly Productivity Award
1996 University of Puerto rico Scholarly Productivity Award
1999 GlaxoSmithKline Glaxo Research Award
2007 University of Norbert Wiener (Peru) Toxicology lecture
2010 Puerto Rico Arts and Sciences Academy member
2011 Merck Merck Health Innovation Award
2011 Hispanic Organization of Toxicologist Presidential Award

Narrative icon

  We are interested in identifying and studying genes that are affected by environmental pollutants (particularly from exposure to airborne particulate matter). We have focused our research on environmental problems and issues that affect the Puerto Rican population. As an environmental toxicologist I have been studying the possible relationships between respiratory diseases and various constituents of local airborne particulate matter from various regions of Puerto Rico. Coupled to airborne particulates in Puerto Rico we have the influence of African dust and volcanic particles that seasonally and sporadically arrive to our island environment. We have been studying the effects of African Dust Storms that move across the Atlantic Ocean and impacts the island of Puerto Rico. Efforts are guided towards identifying chemical and biological constituents of airborne particles responsible for inducing toxicological and immune responses in the lung. To do this we use human bronchial epithelial cell lines as a research model. Our goal is to discover and identify the mechanisms by which various constituents modify biochemical responses that can induce the development of disease.

Our laboratory has shown that particles originating from African dust as well as local urban dust strengthen the immunological responses of lung cells to release pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6, and IL8). The mechanisms by which these responses are induced, involve the interactions of heavy metals, endotoxins and organics. We have found that both Nrf2 and NFkB are induced by local and African dust. We are currently studying the mechanisms by which these three constituents induce these immunological responses. In addition we are studying polymorphism in various genes identified by us by the effects of particle pollution using in vitro models on the Puerto Rican asthmatic population.

We have also demonstrated that these constituents also affect the expression of other genes such as the Mayor Histocompatibility Complex Class II (MHCII) and the nuclear orphan receptor (PXR) from the detoxification system. Studies are currently being designed to explain these findings.

Publications icon

  Check NIH Public Access Policy Compliance

Please wait
1. Gioda A, Rodríguez-Cotto RI, Amaral BS, Encarnación-Medina J, Ortiz-Martínez MG, Jiménez-Vélez BD. Biodiesel from soybean promotes cell proliferation in vitro. Toxicol In Vitro. 2016 Aug; 34:283-8.
2. Ortiz-Martínez MG, Rodríguez-Cotto RI, Ortiz-Rivera MA, Pluguez-Turull CW, Jiménez-Vélez BD. Linking Endotoxins, African Dust PM10 and Asthma in an Urban and Rural Environment of Puerto Rico. Mediators Inflamm. 2015; 2015:784212.
3. Rodríguez-Cotto RI, Ortiz-Martínez MG, Jiménez-Vélez BD. Organic extracts from African dust storms stimulate oxidative stress and induce inflammatory responses in human lung cells through Nrf2 but not NF-?B. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015 Mar; 39(2):845-56.
4. Rodríguez-Cotto RI, Ortiz-Martínez MG, Rivera-Ramírez E, Mateus VL, Amaral BS, Jiménez-Vélez BD, Gioda A. Particle pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: increase and decrease of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 in human lung cells. Environ Pollut. 2014 Nov; 194:112-120.
5. Ferguson KK, Cantonwine DE, Rivera-González LO, Loch-Caruso R, Mukherjee B, Anzalota Del Toro LV, Jiménez-Vélez B, Calafat AM, Ye X, Alshawabkeh AN, Cordero JF, Meeker JD. Urinary phthalate metabolite associations with biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress across pregnancy in Puerto Rico. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jun 17; 48(12):7018-25.
6. Cantonwine DE, Cordero JF, Rivera-González LO, Anzalota Del Toro LV, Ferguson KK, Mukherjee B, Calafat AM, Crespo N, Jiménez-Vélez B, Padilla IY, Alshawabkeh AN, Meeker JD. Urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations among pregnant women in Northern Puerto Rico: distribution, temporal variability, and predictors. Environ Int. 2014 Jan; 62:1-11.
7. Rodríguez-Cotto RI, Ortiz-Martínez MG, Rivera-Ramírez E, Méndez LB, Dávila JC, Jiménez-Vélez BD. African Dust Storms Reaching Puerto Rican Coast Stimulate the Secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 and Cause Cytotoxicity to Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (BEAS-2B). Health (Irvine Calif). 2013 Oct; 5(10B):14-28.
8. Meeker JD, Cantonwine DE, Rivera-González LO, Ferguson KK, Mukherjee B, Calafat AM, Ye X, Anzalota Del Toro LV, Crespo-Hernández N, Jiménez-Vélez B, Alshawabkeh AN, Cordero JF. Distribution, variability, and predictors of urinary concentrations of phenols and parabens among pregnant women in Puerto Rico. Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Apr 02; 47(7):3439-47.
9. Gioda A, Fuentes-Mattei E, Jimenez-Velez B. Evaluation of cytokine expression in BEAS cells exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from specialized indoor environments. Int J Environ Health Res. 2011 Apr; 21(2):106-19.
10. Fuentes-Mattei E, Rivera E, Gioda A, Sanchez-Rivera D, Roman-Velazquez FR, Jimenez-Velez BD. Use of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) to study immunological markers resulting from exposure to PM(2.5) organic extract from Puerto Rico. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2010 Mar 15; 243(3):381-9.
11. Gioda A, Hanke G, Elias-Boneta A, Jiménez-Velez B. A pilot study to determine mercury exposure through vapor and bound to PM10 in a dental school environment. Toxicol Ind Health. 2007 Mar; 23(2):103-13.
12. Molinelli AR, Santacana GE, Madden MC, Jiménez BD. Toxicity and metal content of organic solvent extracts from airborne particulate matter in Puerto Rico. Environ Res. 2006 Nov; 102(3):314-25.
13. Figueroa DA, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ, Jiménez-Velez BD. Concentrations of Ni and V, other heavy metals, arsenic, elemental and organic carbon in atmospheric fine particles (PM2.5) from Puerto Rico. Toxicol Ind Health. 2006 Mar; 22(2):87-99.
14. Acevedo-Figueroa D, Jiménez BD, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ. Trace metals in sediments of two estuarine lagoons from Puerto Rico. Environ Pollut. 2006 May; 141(2):336-42.
15. Puig-Hernández JF, Jiménez-Velez BD. High pressure liquid chormatography determination of the concentration and integrity of L-thyroxine in free T4 stock solution. P R Health Sci J. 2005 Jun; 24(2):151-6.
16. Torres-Pérez MI, Jiménez-Velez BD, Mansilla-Rivera I, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ. Effect of three extraction techniques on submitochondrial particle and Microtox bioassays for airborne particulate matter. P R Health Sci J. 2005 Mar; 24(1):35-9.
17. Kientz K, Jiménez BD, Pérez L, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ. In vitro bioaccessibility of metals in soils from a superfund site in Puerto Rico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2003 May; 70(5):927-34.
18. Rodriguez-Sierra CJ, Jiménez B. Trace metals in striped mojarra fish (Diapterus plumieri) from Puerto Rico. Mar Pollut Bull. 2002 Oct; 44(10):1039-45.
19. Jiménez BD, Maldonado L, Dahl RH, Quattrochi LC, Guzelian PS. Ectopic expression of MHC class II genes (RT1.B(I) beta/alpha) in rat hepatocytes in vivo and in culture can be elicited by treatment with the pregnane X receptor agonists pregnenolone 16 alpha-carbonitrile and dexamethasone. Life Sci. 2002 Jun 07; 71(3):311-23.
20. Preston AM, Bercovitch FB, Jimenez BD, Rodriguez Orengo JF, Morales WD, Rodriguez CA, Lebron MR, Rivera CE. Plasma homocysteine concentrations in a population of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): reference ranges and accompanying plasma concentrations of folate and vitamin B12. Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci. 2002 Jan; 41(1):28-30.
21. Pérez UJ, Jiménez B, Delgado W, Rodríguez-Sierra CJ. Heavy metals in the false mussel, Mytilopsis domingensis, from two tropical estuarine lagoons. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2001 Feb; 66(2):206-13.
22. Jiménez BD, Quattrochi LC, Yockey CB, Guzelian PS. Identification by differential display of the IF1 inhibitor peptide of ATP synthase/ATPase as a gene inducible in rat liver by pregnenolone 16alpha-carbonitrile. Life Sci. 2000 Sep 01; 67(15):1825-32.
23. Reyes DR, Rosario O, Rodriguez JF, Jimenez BD. Toxic evaluation of organic extracts from airborne particulate matter in Puerto Rico. Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Jul; 108(7):635-40.
24. Meléndez PA, Longo N, Jimenez BD, Cadilla CL. Insulin-induced gene 33 mRNA expression in Chinese hamster ovary cells is insulin receptor dependent. J Cell Biochem. 2000 Apr; 77(3):432-44.
25. Romero N, Jiménez BD, Cadilla CL. Insulin and phorbol ester regulation of gene 33 expression in CHO cells. P R Health Sci J. 1999 Sep; 18(3):257-65.
26. McCarthy JF, Jimenez BD. Interactions between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dissolved humic material: binding and dissociation. Environ Sci Technol. 1985 Nov 01; 19(11):1072-6.

Books/Monographs/Textbooks icon


Please wait
1. M. Ortiz-Martínez, E. Rivera-Ramírez, L. Méndez-Torres, and B.D. Jiménez-Vélez. Biodiversity Science for Humanity. Role of chemical and biological constituents of PM10 from Saharan Dust in the exacerbation of asthma in Puerto Rico. 2010; 101-118.
2. 43. McCarthy, J.F., Shugart, L.R. and Jiménez, B.D. Hazardons Waste Site Investigation: Toward Better Decision. Biomarker Based Biomonitors for Evaluating Health and Ecological Effects of Environmental Contaminants. 1992; 177-207 .
3. Jiménez, B. D. and J.J. Stegeman. Biological Indicators of Sress in Fish. Detoxication enzymes as indicators of environmental stress in fish. 1990; 67-79.
4. Jiménez, B.D., Oikari, A., Adams, S.M., Hinton, D.E. and McCarthy, J.F. Chapter 6; Biological Markers of Environmental Contaminants. Hepatic enzymes as biomarkers: Interpreting the effects of environmental, physiological, and toxicological variables. 1990; 123-142 .

Original Articles icon


Please wait
1. Andrea R. da Silva, Ricardo Q. Aucélio, Rosa I. Rodríguez-Cotto, ?Mario G. Ortiz-Mart ínez, Evasomary Rivera-Ramírez, Daniela Perroni Frias, Mariangela Macchione, Braulio Jiménez-Vélez, and Adriana Gioda. J Nanopart Res. Physicochemical properties and toxicological assessment of modified CdS nanoparticles. 2014; 16:2655.
2. Braulio Jiménez-Vélez, Yasmin Detrés, Roy A. Armstrong, and Adriana Gioda. Atmospheric Environment. Characterization of African dust (PM2.5) across the Atlantic Ocean during AEROSE 2004. 2009; 43:2659-2664.
3. Adriana Gioda, Gilberto Hanke, Augusto Elias, and Braulio Jiménez-Velez. Toxicology and Industrial Health. A pilot study to determine mercury levels in a dental environment at the School of Dentistry. 2007; 23:103-113.

Research Resources icon

Funding Opportunities icon

Browse active NIH & NSF funding opportunities, requests for applications (RFAs), and program announcements (PAs)

Publications Timeline

Top MeSH Keywords

Tree Map of Keyword Semantic Groups (Categories)

Left-click a node to move down the tree, right-click the graph to move back up the tree

Local representatives can answer questions about the Profiles website or help with editing a profile or issues with profile data. For assistance with this profile:
Last Name
Particulate Matter
Air Pollutants
Environmental Monitoring
See all (187) keywords
See all (3) people See all (60) people Search for (9) people

RTRN Collaboration and Professional Networking Feedback