Cristina Coralys Torres Cabán

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Biological Engineering

PhD Candidate, First Year

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Hometown

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Undergraduate institution

University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus

What sparked your interest in your current field, and what do you love about it?

While training as a biologist during my undergrad, I was curious about how molecular processes affect cellular behavior. I then realized that this information can be manipulated to provide many applications, like the development of biological materials and tissue engineering. That’s when I decided to delve into a field in which I could grow both as a scientist and an engineer. I love that I’m able to work with a very diverse group of people, who each have different backgrounds and expertise.

Personal research summary

In the summer of 2014, I worked at the University of Minnesota where I designed and generated a degron strain (recombinant DNA) that would allow us to control protein expression. We were interested in observing how the expression of this protein affected accurate DNA replication. A summer later, in 2015, I worked at Rutgers University where I investigated the role of a microRNA in the healthspan of the nematode C. elegans muscle. In 2016, at MIT, I worked on the development of tissue-specific CRISPR/Cas9 mutants in C. elegans. These mutants would later be used as a tool to study epigenetic regulators of stem cell decisions in the worm. I am currently interested in working on how we can manipulate cells to develop 3D tissues, organoids, or biological materials.

Personal interests

I enjoy dancing, reading, traveling, and playing with my pets!