Campus Alert: Find the latest UMMS campus news and resources at

Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

SACNAS - UMass Medical School

Who We Are


In the fall of 2016, the SACNAS-UMMS Student Chapter was initiated by an outstanding group of students: Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez, Daniel Hidalgo, Jose Mercado-Matos, Dalia Martinez-Marin, and Teresita Padilla-Benavides, PhD as advisor and Jaime Rivera-Perez, PhD as co-advisor. In the spring of 2017, our chapter was formally accepted by the SACNAS National office.

After the first round of elections during the spring of 2017, Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez, Daniel Hidalgo, Raziel Rojas-Rodriguez, Arvin Iracheta-Vellve, Pamela Cote-Hammarlof and Salome Funes constituted the first Board for our chapter. Thanks to their efforts the chapter has grown and become extremely active. We have organized several seminars in house, which included first class speakers such as: Dr. Deborah Harmon-Hines (UMMS), Dr. Jose Lemos (UMMS), Dr. Bruce Birren (MIT), Dr. Alejandro Vila (Argentina), and Dr. Robert Rivers (NIH).

In 2017, our Chapter was awarded with the prestigious Public Service Grant from UMMS. Our initiative entitled "Ciencia y Salud entre amigos" is commited to share the knowledge and expertise from members of the UMMS community with the general public. Students, staff and junior faculty are able to share science, health and education related insights with the non-scientific community in Worcester, Massachusetts. Invited speakers for this seminar series include: Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez (MD/PhD candidate); Raziel Rojas-Rodriguez (PhD candidate); Vanessa Paulman (Director, Immigration Service Office, UMMS), Melissa Scher (Immigration Specialist, Immigration Service Office, UMMS), Dr. Sonia Ortiz-Miranda (UMMS), Dr. Catalina Ruiz-Canada (UMMS), and Dr. Lyne Khair (UMMS).

This year, the SACNAS-UMMS Student Chapter took the lead organizing the 2018 SACNAS New England Regional meeting, to be held on April 21st. Significant efforts of the Chapter members, along with strong institutional support, has allowed us to put together an excellent program for our meeting.

The SACNAS-UMMS Student Chapter is looking forward to a year full of interesting activities and to continue to contribute to diversity and inclusion here at our school and in our community!

Board Members

Aurian P. Garcia Gonzalez President
Aurian P. García González
Hometown: San Juan, PR
College: Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras
Lab, Year of Study: Walhout Lab, MD/PhD candidate Year 5
Research description: C. elegans as a model for host-microbiota-drug interactions
Daniel Hidalgo Vice-President
Daniel Hidalgo
Hometown: Veracruz, Mexico
College: Clark University
Lab, Year of Study: Socolovsky Lab, PhD candidate Year 2
Research description: Understanding cell cycle dependent cell fate decisions during red blood cell formation.
Raziel Rojas-Rodríguez Treasurer
Raziel Rojas-Rodríguez
Hometown: Hatillo, PR College: Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Arecibo
Lab, Year of Study: Corvera Lab, PhD candidate Year 4
Research description: Adipose Tissue Metabolism in Pregnancy
Salome Funes Secretary
Salome Funes
Hometown: Quito, Ecuador College: Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas - ESPE (Sangolqui, Ecuador)
Year of Study: PhD candidate Year 1 Research description: Mechanisms of glucocorticoid resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Pamela Cote-Hammarlof Secretary
Pamela Cote-Hammarlof
Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts College: Smith College
Lab-Year of Study: Bolon Lab, PhD Candidate, 5th year Research description: Investigating evolutionary innovation in S. cerevisiae heat shock protein 90
Arvin Iracheta-Vellve National Liaison
Arvin Iracheta-Vellve
Hometown: Natick, MA (by way of Mexico City, Mexico)
College: Boston College
Lab-Year: Szabo Lab, 5th year
Research: The role of innate immunity in mediating inflammation and cell death in alcoholic liver disease.

SACNAS UMass Facebook IconFollow us on Facebook SACNAS National LogoSACNAS National