Vanessa De La Rosa
University of California-Berkeley (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/programs/Program_detail.cfm?Project_ID=P42ES4705)
Program Director: Martyn Smith
Project: Functional Profiling of Suceptibility Genes (http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/programs/Program_detail.cfm?Project_ID=P42ES47050101)
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the SRP provided funding for a research supplement to the University of California-Berkeley to improve the diversity of its research workforce.
Vanessa De La Rosa was hired to investigate the relationship between genes, Superfund chemicals, and adverse outcomes. De La Rosa hopes to be able to identify the susceptibility of different human genes to different chemicals by using parallel deletion analysis and RNA interference on yeast cells. She will focus on the link between Superfund chemicals and leukemia by evaluating the toxic effects at the cellular level, the genetic level, and epigenomic level.
De La Rosa will participate in laboratory rotations to learn all protocols related to parallel deletion analysis, yeast assay, and RNA interference. As part of life in the SRP program, she will have opportunities for travel, academic presentation, and interaction with aspiring and experienced researchers.
"Having spent my undergraduate career along the US/Mexico border and attending a predominantly Hispanic university has inspired me to return to a similar community. There are few Hispanic women obtaining doctoral degrees in the sciences and even fewer teaching in higher education. I want to be a part of the change in the science community to motivate the next generation of women and minority students to surpass expectations and bring our unique perspectives to the research workforce." Vanessa De La Rosa, recipient of ARRA research supplement for underrepresented minorities.