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Rebecca Colón Ríos

Peer Mentor

Rebecca was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, where she majored in Industrial Microbiology. In her home institution, she worked on screening for pathogenic aerosols in the biology department and identifying environmental fungal interactions with bromeliads. Her first summer internship experience was with BioMed SURF in 2018, where she worked in Dr. Barbara Kazmierczak’s lab. Here, she studied the identification of amoebicidal compounds produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa with activity against Acanthamoeba castellanii. The end goal of this project is to find potential therapeutics for patients with Acanthamoeba infections through natural product drug discovery.

Now, Rebecca has finished up her first year as a PhD student in the Microbiology Track of the BBS program. She recently joined Dr. Barbara Kazmierczak’s lab where she’ll be studying amoeba- Pseudomonas aeruginosa interactions, with the aim to understand how Pseudomonas mechanistically causes cell death. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys making art & crafts, hanging out with friends and baking.