2021 Virtual Junior Technical Meeting (JTM) and  the Puerto Rico Interdisciplinary Scientific Meeting (PRISM) on April 23 & 24, 2021. Schedule: Friday: 1PM-7PM & Saturday: 10AM-4PM. JTM and PRISM are the island's largest annual scientific forum for undergraduate and graduate STEM students to present their research projects to peers and faculty members.

The JTM-PRISM provides vertical integration of the educational pipeline by bringing together secondary school students and teachers, undergraduate and graduate students from all STEM disciplines from all major institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico.  Participants are encouraged to cross-disciplinary lines by attending presentations and posters from other disciplines..    

Electronic Registration Deadline: March 22nd, 2021
(this registration is required only for students presenting at the event)



Important Links:


Invited Plenary Speakers:

Ileana Perez, PhD

Ileana Pérez-Rodríguez, PhD
Assistant Professor


Chemosynthetic Microorganisms from the Ocean Crust

My research focuses on microorganisms associated with hydrothermal processes in seafloor and subseafloor crustal environments. As some of the deepest-branching lifeforms in the Tree of Life, they provide a window to early life on Earth. Their variety of chemosynthetic lifestyles are also important for understanding the metabolic rules driving elemental cycling through time. Through a combination of microbiological and geochemical analyses, I characterize new microbial species from these environments and evaluate fundamental principles behind their ecology. Recently, I have been interrogating the use of chemosynthetic microorganisms for application in biotechnology. Overall, these microbiological studies are interdisciplinary in nature and contribute fundamental knowledge in geomicrobiology and its application. 



Eliezer Calo, PhD

Eliezer Calo, PhD

Development Professor

Understanding congenital diseases: from molecular mechanisms to therapeutic interventions

Congenital abnormalities are extremely common birth defects and a major cause of infant mortality. These disorders are cause by multiple factors that affect the development of the fetus before birth and have significant impacts on individuals, families, health-care systems, and societies. About 3% of all newborns in the United States have congenital abnormalities and over 50% of these cannot be linked to a specific cause. Thus, these diseases pose a significant medical challenge, as the underlying molecular basis for these disorders is almost completely unknown, so the treatment strategies for these devastating childhood disorders remains limited. I will discuss my lab efforts to elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying congenital abnormalities, with emphasis on craniofacial malformations, birth defects of the face, and blood disorders. I will illustrate the utility of using disease relevant animal and cellular models to elucidate mechanisms of disease and how we leverage these models to guide the development and discovery of novel therapeutic strategies. 



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