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2016 - 2017 Academic Year PREP Participants


Kiara Amaro Rivera, BS, MHSN

Kiara earned a BS in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez. During this time she explored various interdisciplinary research including a National Science Foundation sponsored experience at University of Wisconsin-Madison. There she studied metamorphosis in the northern leopard frog which lead to an Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students travel scholarship to present her research. Kiara then received her Master’s in Health Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences campus. Her thesis research explored the longitudinal associations of dietary practices and diet quality with excessive weight gain in infants and toddlers at a WIC clinic.

Maira Castañeda Ávila, BS, MS

Maira earned her BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Metropolitan University in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There she received the Model Institutions for Excellence scholarship sponsored by the National Science Foundation. As an undergraduate she studied the role of the loss of insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF2) imprinting in colorectal cancer in Hispanics. After graduation, Maira was accepted in the Introduction for Cancer Research Career program of the National Cancer Institute. That experience led to her interest in epidemiology and a master’s program in Epidemiology at the University of Puerto Rico. Maira’s thesis related to Chlamydia trachomatis serostatus with HPV infection in women living in Puerto Rico.

Adam Longwich, BS

Adam earned his BS in Biochemistry from Ithaca College. As an undergraduate he performed an evolutionary analysis of the plant genus Gurania. Adam’s coursework at Ithaca College exposed him to medical research and he became interested in infectious disease. Following graduation, Adam worked in the research laboratory of Dr. Robert Siliciano at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he studied latent HIV reservoirs and viral evolution.

Dalia Martinez-Marin, BS

Dalia earned a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Texas Tech University. There she studied the interactions between prostate cancer cells and macrophages to study a protein that could be used as a metastic prostate cancer treatment. While at Texas Tech, Dalia received several awards including two Texas Tech University Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement travel scholarships to present at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. She also, received the Chris Rodriguez Endowed Research Scholarship in 2014 and 2015.

Jarin Snyder, BS

Jarin received his BS in Biology from Framingham State University in 2016. A general education Biology course sparked Jarin’s passion to study aging and aging related disease. As an undergraduate he participated in a National Science Foundation sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates internship at Tufts University. His research at Tufts focused on the role of Sir2 in quiescence in yeast.