María del Mar González-Pons, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Division of Cancer Biology
University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center
San Juan, PR.


Complete list of publications:

Dr. María Gonzalez-Pons completed the Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY in 2004, where she was trained in Mechanisms of Disease and Therapy and worked with Adeno-Associated Virus gene therapy vectors. Subsequently, she obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Medical Zoology with expertise in Molecular Biology from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan, PR in 2011. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on the characterization of a membrane transporter throughout the malaria lifecycle. She obtained postdoctoral training in Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa’s laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Juan, PR, where she led and collaborated on several projects in two main areas: molecular mechanisms contributing to early-onset colorectal carcinogenesis and mechanisms of gut microbiota-driven colorectal carcinogenesis. In 2014, she was awarded a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research postdoctoral training supplement and in 2016 she was awarded an R21 along with her mentor Marcia Cruz-Correa. Currently, Dr. Gonzalez-Pons is an Associate Professor in the Cancer Biology Division of the University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2018, she was awarded a Transition Career Development Award (K22) to examine host genetic susceptibility to gut microbiota-driven colorectal carcinogenesis and to develop her independent research program focused on gene-environment interactions and health disparities. Currently, she is an investigator within the Center for the Promotion of Cancer Health Equity (CePCHE) and is spearheading a project titled “Epidemiologic and germline genomic characterization of early-onset colorectal cancer among Hispanics”. To date, Dr. Gonzalez-Pons has authored and co-authored more than 21 publications in the areas of gastrointestinal cancer genetics and health disparities, microorganism-driven carcinogenesis, and molecular parasitology.

(Updated Oct 12, 2023)