•  Extracurricular Activities

    Extracurricular Activities

         Our laboratory's vision and mission involve the support to breast cancer patients by improving and developing new diagnosis techniques as well as provide new insights in breast cancer studies to the scientific community. For this reasons, we collaborate with foundations that are community-based dedicated to prevent cancer, save lives and diminish suffering, for example, the Go-Gogo! Pediatric Cancer Foundation. This september 13, 2015 our lab crew was present at the 6th edition of the Go for the Kids Walk, cheering for children that fight cancer every day. Besides supporting pediatric cancer patients, the activity also has the purpose of raising funds for the establishment of the first pediatric emergency room in the south of Puerto Rico.


  • Cancer Conference

    Cancer Conference

    Cancer Conference

        Although our aim research approach is in DNA repair studies by NER (nucleotide excision repair) pathway, we have others projects running at the laboratory to address additional issues on cancer. Within these topics are: our patient’s advocates and the role of essential oils in breast cancer cells. Recently, both topics were presented by Wanda Vargas (Graduate Nurse) & Carmen Ortiz (PhDc) at the 2nd Puerto Rico Cancer Research Meeting. The patient advocates were educated by Wanda through a presentation on essential information about the importance of participating in clinical trials and cancer research. Moreover, the pharmacology of the sandalwood essential oil in cancer was discussed and exposed in an oral presentation by Carmen Ortiz..


    More information involving these topics at the conference:

    Ortiz C, Morales L, Sastre M, Haskins W, Matta J. Sandalwood Essential Oil Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity Assessment in Human Breast Cell Lines MCF-7 and MCF-10A.

    Invited speaker
    October 2st, 2015, The Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel
    San Juan, PR

    Vargas W, Crespo I, Matta J. La importancia de participar en investigaciones clínicas

    Invited speaker
    October 1st, 2015, UPR Medical Sciences Campus
    San Juan, PR

  • New members

         As recent as this semester, August 2015, two new students joined our lab. Gamaliel Monge, a graduate student from the Public Health program, is currently working with epidemiological data under the supervision of Wanda Vargas, the graduate nurse in the Breast Cancer Study (SC1). As part of his work, he will perform new epidemiological analyzes to study relevant effects in our breast cancer population. This task involves a great responsibility due to the continuous record management and the confidentiality of the information. Gamaliel is expanding his knowledge about using SPSS software, biostatistics in cancer, database development. These are tools that will help him construct his career as an epidemiologist. Ian Crespo is a professional volunteer at our laboratory. He has a Master Degree (MSc) in Regenerative Biomedicine Sciences from the University of Granada, Spain. His thesis work was focused in leptospirosis, specifically LipL32; an outer membrane lipid-protein, and the serological diagnosis of this infection. Currently, Ian is working with the SPSS database, developing conferences for patient advocacies, and working on his own project involving DNA repair.

  • Society of Toxicology National Meeting (SOT)

         Last March 18, 2015, Carmen Ortiz Ph.Dc had the great opportunity to present her work titled: "Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity Assessment of Sandalwood Essential Oil in Human Breast Cell Lines MCF-7 and MCF-10A" at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT). The SOT is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists that included professionals in the areas of academia, government and industry. This opportunity was extremely important for Carmen since she got to present her work and to be evaluated by her peers in the field of genotoxicity and toxicology. To travel to this meeting Carmen received a Graduate Student Travel award from the SOT.


  • October 2014 - Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the Lab!

    October 2014 - Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the Lab!

    It has been a fantastic month so far for the laboratory team! October marks the worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness month and we are more than happy to be a part of the movement as well as working arduously towards our current research goals in understanding the association between DNA repair capacity and breast cancer recurrence in particular. 

    To celebrate the occasion, our hardworking staff members over at the lab and the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences decked the hallways with lovely pink balloons and ribbons, which showered passers-by with an allure of familiar warmth and solidarity. The main centerpiece of our decorations was this absolutely stunning piece of artwork done by our very own public health student, Mrs. Yeidyly Vergne. 

    Once Dr. Matta caught wind of it, he had to stay around and insist on a word from the artist! From Yeidyly we learn that this particular piece reflects for us and the women we study a glimmer of hope; hope that their tumor will rescind from the dark, turbid waters of DNA degradation, and re-emerge into the sweet, clear rivers of DNA repair bliss - as is epitomized by the visual transition of the broken DNA strands into reformed colorful ones.

    And what a sweet occasion of festivities has it been over at our lab! Keep us company over at our website while we continue to bring you the latest up-to-date news on our research.