Dr. Hernandez-O’Farrill is Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, School
Dr. Hernandez-O’Farrill received his BS from the Interamerican University in 1998, a PhD from University of
Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus on 2006. Post-doctoral research in Drug Discovery: Medicinal Chemistry,
University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, School of Pharmacy.
Research efforts target the synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of Rac1 as anti-invasive breast cancer
compounds. Rho family GTPases are molecular switches that control signaling pathways regulating a myriad of cellular functions. Rac1, a Rho family member, plays a critical role in several aspects of tumorigenesis
and cancer progression, and has been associated with the increased proliferation and invasion of several
breast cancer cell lines. Since the activation of Rho GTPases is controlled by guanine nucleotide exchange
factors (GEFs), inhibition of the interaction of Rac with its GEFs is a targeted strategy for blocking Rac activation.
Dr. Hernández-O’Farrill’s research is supported by institutional matching funds from the NCRR-RCMI Program at the UPR-Medical Sciences Campus for the project: “Small Molecule Inhibitors of Rac1 as AntiInvasive Breast Cancer Compounds”.