University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
College of Natural Sciences
Research Project: Gene Profiling of Nervous Regeneration Processes
Off-site collaborators: Andrew Cameron (Caltech)
Biography: Dr. José E. García-Arrarás is a professor and chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico. He is the Principal Investigator of the NeuroID Program and the director of an NIH-ENDURE (R25) grant and an NIH-BD2K (R25) grant that focus on advancing undergraduate students into careers of Neuroscience and Big Data. He ran for over 7 years the NINDS SNPR Program at UPR-RP. And also, he has participated in multiple training grants for undergraduate and graduate students via the NSF-REU, NIH-MB RS and NIH-MARC programs. Dr. José García’s research has been funded uninterruptedly for 29 years by NIH and/or NSF. His main focus is the study of regenerative biology, using the model system presented in his proposal, which was pioneered in his laboratory. The long term goals of Dr. García studies are to decode the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration, using as a model system the echinoderm Holothuria glaberrima, a local sea cucumber. In the past 20 years, Dr. García’s laboratory had made advances in deciphering regeneration mechanisms in both intestinal and nervous system regeneration. Likewise making their system known via articles, seminars, workshops and courses, both nationally and internationally. Now they are seeing a growth in the interest of using adult echinoderms for regeneration studies. Dr. García is interested in the training of students and the mentoring of junior faculty. He has a strong history of training undergraduate students (over 100), particularly underrepresented minorities. Many of his students have been co-authors in the laboratory publications and many others have continued to graduate careers.