Ponce Banner

Research Education Core

Search this site:

The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) and Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) Partnership is a collaborative effort that promotes education, research, and training opportunities for young scientists and medical students in the area of cancer investigation in the Puerto Rican population. The main goal of the PHSU-MCC Partnership Research Education Core is to increase the number, competence and success of these cancer professionals.

The Research Education Core provides Ph.D and medical students the opportunity and funding to complete basic and translational laboratory research projects. Students from Ponce Health Sciences University can elect to undertake their project at MCC or at PHSU. Students from MCC and the University of South Florida with an ongoing interest in cancer research are eligible to train at the PHSU campus.

Please click here to access the Research Education Core Library.


2017 Summer Research Rotations at MCC

The Ponce Health Sciences University have selected five students to complete an 8 week rotation period at Moffitt Cancer Center under the U54 PHSU-MCC Partnership. During this period, the PHSU students will be provided with mentored training in cancer research, emerging technologies, research skills workshops, health disparities education, career development activities and lab meetings. After completing the research rotations, the students will give an oral presentation to faculty and students at Ponce Health Sciences University, their home institute, and they will submit a written report of their work during the summer.

Ph.D. Student’s Experiments at MCC

Jaileene Perez Morales, Ph.D. student at Ponce Health Sciences University, will be doing some of her experiments at Moffitt Cancer Center to move forward with her thesis project focused on investigating the role of hyper-phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein (Rb) code and how it causes loss of cell adhesion and early proclivity for metastasis in lung cancer. This research experience at Dr. Teresita Antonia’s laboratory will help her finish her thesis and contribute towards her manuscript. Jaileene will also have the opportunity to do networking for a possible post-doctoral position. Good luck Jaileene!


  • “Recent Advancements in the Treatment of Metastatic Bladder Cancer & Prostate Cancer” Grand Round – Dr. Jingsong Zhang, Moffitt Cancer Center, May 11th, 2017
  • “Advancements in the Treatment of Brain Glioma” Grand Round – Dr. Nam Tran, Moffitt Cancer Center, April 27th, 2017
  • “The Role of Stress in Cancer Onset and Progression: From Ancient Greece to Epigenetics” Cancer Seminar, Dr. Heather Jim, Moffitt Cancer Center, April 26th, 2017
  • “Breast Cancer in the Older Women” Grand Round – Dr. Lodovico Balducci, Moffitt Cancer Center, March 23rd, 2017
  • “Adoptive Cell Therapy Using Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL)” Cancer Seminar – Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas, Moffitt Cancer Center, March 7th, 2017
  • “What has changed in the Management of Colorectal Cancer?” Grand Round – Dr. Richard Kim, Moffitt Cancer Center, February 23rd, 2017
  • “Advanced Cancer Caregivers: How the Social Context can Impact Stress?” Cancer Seminar, Dr. Maija Reblin, Moffitt Cancer Center, February 8th, 2017
  • “Emerging Roles of the Microbiome in Cancer” Cancer Seminar, Dr. Christine Pierce-Campbell, Moffitt Cancer Center, December 14th, 2016
  • “Identifying Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Gynecologic Cancers and Developing Strategies to Combat Them” Cancer Seminar, Dr. Bo Rueda, Harvard Medical School, October 19th, 2016
  • “Adoptive Immunotherapy for Cancer: CAR-T Cells and Beyond” Cancer Seminar, Dr. Danirl Agate-Daga, Moffitt Cancer Center, June 29th, 2016
  • “Management of Upper GI Malignancies” Grand Round, Khaldoum Almhanna, Moffitt Cancer Center, June 23rd, 2016
  • “Innovation for Cancer Therapeutic Development: An Industry Perspective” Cancer Seminar, Heather A. Brauer, Ph.D., Bothell, WA, April 21st, 2016
  • “The Role of Surgery in Managing Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: An Evidenced-Based Approach” Grand Round – Dr. Lary Robinson, Moffitt Cancer Center, April 14th, 2016
  • “Regulation of p53 Stress Response” Cancer Seminar – Dr. Jiandong Chen, Moffitt Cancer Center, March 2nd, 2016

Success Stories

The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) Oncology Interest Group was selected as an American Society of Clinical Oncology-sponsored Cancer Interest Group, supported by the Conquer Foundation of ASCO Mission Endowment. Founded in 1964, ASCO is a professional Oncology society committed to conquering cancer through research, education, prevention and delivery of high-quality patient care. The PHSU OIG aims to encourage commitment, education, leadership and research among health sciences students interested in the Oncology field. The award funds serve to support various group activities such as professional development and research workshops, community outreach events, and cancer awareness initiatives. 

New directive members of the Oncology Interest Group:

  • Yariana Rodríguez, President
  • Ken De Jésus, Vice President
  • Angel Díaz, Secretary
  • Jaileen Pérez, Treasurer
  • Neysha Martínez, Research Coordinator
  • Kristian Figueras, Public Relations
  • Victor Otaño, Representative MS II
  • Ana Pagán, Representative MS III
  • Yaileen Guzmán, Representative MS IV
  • Claudia Ocasio, Representative PhD

Follow us on Facebook  Facebook  and LinkedIn LinkedIn



Research Education Core Mentors and Mentees

Research Education Core Co-Leaders
Moffitt Ponce
 Kenneth Wright, Ph.D. Caroline Appleyard, Ph.D.
Research Education Core Investigators
Moffitt Ponce
Melissa Alsina, M.D. Hector Velez, M.D
Scott Antonia, M.D., Ph.D. Pedro Santiago, PhD 
Alberto Chiappori, M.D. Elizabeth Barranco, M.D
Julian Sanchez M.D. Raul Armstrong M.D
Daniel Sullivan M.D.  
Susan Vadaparampil, Ph.D.   
Research Education Core Coordinators
Moffitt Ponce
Dennis Mont'Ros Lyshia Correa