I am a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Physiology with over 15 years of experience on immunocytochemistry techniques. I have developed my skills through continuous collaborations with European investigators while pursuing my independent research goals and I have acted as coordinator of the RCMI funded immunocytochemistry laboratory for over 10 years.
My research has been funded during the past 16 years by NIH-NIGMS-MBRS, NHI-NINDS-SNRP, NIH-NCRR-RCMI and more recently NIH-NINDS R01 mechanisms. I currently direct the Integrative Center for Glial Research at Universidad Central del Caribe, a Center that is devoted to the study of glial cells in health and disease. My work in this area began in 1976 when I was an MS student and my first publications in 1979-80 highlighted a role of retinal glial cells in generation of electrical field potentials and K+-buffering. From 1980 to 1992, I worked on glia in Russia where I mentored students and trained junior faculty. In 1992, I was invited as a visiting researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Andreas Reichenbach in Germany where I established 3 novel directions of research and strong foreign collaborations including my current participation in the EduGlia network. A year later, Dr. Richard Orkand invited me to come to Puerto Rico from Germany to conduct glial research on the island. In 1997, I accepted a faculty position at UCC where I have had continuous funding with grants focusing on glial function in retina and brain.
I have served as reviewer for glial manuscripts, am past president of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and have trained 20 students (7 undergraduate and 13 graduate students) and 9 post-doctoral researchers. In addition, I am a consultant and expert visiting scientist for EduGlia. EduGlia is a European consortium which has the goal of training promising young researchers for careers in basic as well as in translational glial research, including clinical applications and industry.