For more than fourteen years, I have served as the Project Director of Puerto Rico EPSCoR, and I was the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus Fromm 1999-2013.. In both cases, I have involved on a day-to-day basis in the development of competitive science in Puerto Rico. This involves the development of infrastructure, faculty and academic programs. From this basis, I served as a member of the Internal Advisory Committee of the previous cycle of the U54 grant, providing insights and suggestions as to how to develop the Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center through the incorporation of research, training and outreach. I am currently a Co-PI of the U54 grant because I am fully convinced of the merits of this project, and its prospects for full success. I believe that I can bring my experience in developing research and education in Puerto Rico to contribute to this success. Furthermore, I believe that this success will be best achieved through the participation of the major research institutions in Puerto Rico.
From a research point of view, I am actively involved in the synthesis, characterization and applications of novel nanomaterials. Specifically, we use Chemical Vapor Depostion methods to grow carbon nanotubes and diamond thin films and their corresponding composites for electronics, energy and biomedical applications. With respect to the biomedical applications, we have recently developed a new synthesis of Graphene Quantum Dots that has excellent potential uses as a biomarker for in-vivo studies. There may also be potential for the GQDs in Photodynamic Therapy, and initial will be carried out in the near future in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center.