Yisel M. Cantres-Rosario, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology, School of Medicine, UPR-Medical Sciences Campus
Dr. Cantres-Rosario obtained a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Then, she obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Medical Zoology from the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. Her doctoral dissertation focused on elucidating the contribution of lysosomal proteases from HIV-infected macrophages to neuronal dysfunction and death, under the mentorship of Dr. Loyda Melendez. Subsequently, she transitioned to a postdoctoral training position with Dr. Valerie Wojna and Dr. Yamil Gerena, in the Department of Internal Medicine. Supported by a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, she studied the secretion of soluble insulin receptor into the plasma and extracellular vesicles as potential biomarker of metabolic disturbances and cognitive impairment in people living with HIV. She participated in training programs such as the Congruent Mentorship to Reach Academic Diversity (COMRADE) in Neuroscience Research at New York University, from which she obtained mentorship and funding to develop a 3D brain organoids co-culture system to model how peripheral immune cells contribute to HIV-associated neuronal dysfunction in vitro. In 2021, she was awarded an Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition K22 Award to Promote Diversity in Neuroscience Research by NIH-NINDS, to develop her basic/translational research program focused on understanding the contribution of monocyte immune responses to neurodegeneration. In 2023, Dr. Cantres-Rosario joined the Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology at UPR as Assistant Professor. Her research interests are neuroimmune interactions in aging-related conditions, infectious diseases and neurodegeneration. She also is co-investigator in a project aimed to characterize astrocyte-derived extracellular vesicles of people living with HIV-associated cognitive impairment. In addition, she is interested in studying how infection-induced immune disturbances and dysbiosis contribute to cancer development and cognitive decline in people living with HIV. As a Hispanic women scientist trained in Puerto Rico, she is committed to empowering and fostering the career development of scientists of underrepresented backgrounds.
(Updated Oct 4, 2023)