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Investigator Highlights

Congratulations to the recent ESI Career Development Program Graduates: A big congrats to the recent ESI Career Development Program Graduates! We wish them the best as they continue their journey and remain committed to the mission of the U54 Partnership.

Dr. Melissa Marzan appointed as the Chief Epidemiologist at the Department of Health of Puerto Rico: Dr. Melissa Marzan was recently appointed as the Chief Epidemiologist at the Department of Health of Puerto Rico. Dr. Marzan has more than 13 years of public health experience, including a role in Puerto Rico's epidemiological response to HIV. Dr. Marzan is a co-leader of the Outreach Core and a project co-leader for the the Y09 - Y10 Pilot Research Project: Adaptation of an HPV education resource to promote HPV vaccination among unvaccinated Spanish language preferring YLMSM in Puerto Rico and Florida. Congratulations to Dr. Marzan! 

Grant Highlights

Dr. Guillermo Armaiz-Peña awarded supplement to R21: Dr. Guillermo Armaiz-Peña, a PHSU-MCC Partnership early-stage investigator, was recently awarded an R21 supplement by NCI/NIMHD for his research project titled Adrenergic signaling inhibition to enhance the immunogenicity of the ovarian tumor microenvironment prior to PD-1 checkpoint therapy.

Grants awarded supported by Partnership Shared Resources: Two grants that were recently awarded are supported by Partnership shared resources (i.e., Puerto Rico BioBank and Quantitative Sciences Core.


Grant Agency

PI (Institution)

Partnership Shared Resources that Supported Application

Variation in Tumor-Associated Immune Profiles and Colorectal Cancer Outcomes Across Populations of Diverse Ancestral Origins


Stephanie Schmit, PhD (Cleveland Clinic Lerner COM-CWRU)/subaward to Erin Siegel, PhD (Moffitt Cancer Center)

Puerto Rico BioBank

Characterization of genetic ancestry and population diversity across the ORIEN Network

ORIEN Foundation

Julie Dutil, PhD (Ponce Health Sciences University)/subawards to Erin Siegel, PhD (Moffitt Cancer Center) and David Craig, PhD (University of Southern California)

Puerto Rico BioBank

Quantitative Sciences Core


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Publication Highlights

The following were recently accepted for publication.

*Partnership investigators are bolded.

**Early-stage investigators are bolded.

Pilot Research Projects: The genomic and epigenetic predictors of aggressive prostate cancer in Puerto Rican men (Drs. Park/Ruiz-Deya)/Evaluation of gene expression signatures predictive of disease aggressiveness and chemoresistance in Puerto Rican men with prostate cancer (Drs. Yamoah/Díaz-Osterman)

  • Berglund, A, Matta J, Encarnacion-Medina J, Ortiz-Sanchez C, Dutil J, Linares R, Marcial J, Abreu C, Putney R, Chakrabarti R, Lin H, Yamoah K, Diaz Osterman C, Wang L, Dhillon J, Kim Y, Kim SJ, Ruiz-Deya G, Park JY *. Dysregulation of DNA Methylation and Epigenetic Clocks in Prostate Cancer among Puerto Rican Men. Biomolecules. Accepted Dec. 14, 2021.

Other Publications by Early-Stage Investigators

  • Varas-Diaz N, Grove K, Contreras V, Vargas R, Rivera S, Marzan M, Padilla M. Decolonial Visual Resistance as a Public Health Strategy in Post-María Puerto Rico. Submitted to Journal of Visual Political Communication. Accepted Nov. 30, 2021.

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Outreach Events

Tampa, FL Salud! Serie de Charlas: March 29, 2022

Ponce, PR Salud! Serie de Charlas: March 25, 2022

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​Click here to view the Summer 2022 Partnership Newsletter.

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