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COBRE External Advisory Committee

Luis Santana, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Physiology & Biophysics
University of Washington

Dr. Luis F. Santana is Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington. His laboratory uses state-of-the-art techniques including patch clamp electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, and molecular biology to study calcium signaling. A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Santana earned his undergraduate degree from the UPR Humacao campus and has maintained an interest in advancing Neuroscience on the island.


Jan-Marino (Nino) Ramirez, Ph.D.
Professor of Neurological Surgery
Director, Center for Integrative Brain Research
Seattle Children’s Research Institute of Neurobiology
Univ of Washington
Box 359924

Seattle, WA 98195-7920

Dr. Jan ‘Nino’ Ramirez is Director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Professor for Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Washington. His research examines the mechanisms that underlie rhythmic activities in a variety of neuronal networks. His recent research focuses on the mechanisms that give rise to respiratory motor activity. He employs a translational approach which seeks novel ways to treat and cure neurological disorders in children, including epilepsy, Rett syndrome, brain tumors, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Prior to moving to Seattle in 2009, Dr. Ramirez served as Chair of the Department of Organismal Biology & Anatomy at the University of Chicago. He has considerable experience with mentoring and promoting the research careers of young faculty.


Jean A. King, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Comparative NeuroImaging
Department of Psychiatry

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr. Jean A. King is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She serves as Director of the Center for Comparative Neuroimaging (CCNI), Director of the Career Development and Research Office (CDRO) and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. King’s funding from the NIDA, NIMH, CDC, and NSF has enabled her to make seminal contributions to our understanding of how early stress can exert deleterious effects on the brain that are expressed during adulthood. Dr. King is a passionate advocate and mentor for young faculty. A native of Aruba and Grenada, she has maintained a deep interest in advancing science in the Caribbean throughout her career.


Rafael Irizarry, Ph.D.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute and
Harvard School of Public Health
CLSB 11007,
450 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215

Dr. Rafael Irizarry is Professor in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Center and Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Irizarry's work focuses on Genomics and Computational Biology problems. In particular, he has worked on the analysis and pre-processing of microarray, second-generation sequencing, and genomic data. He is currently leveraging his knowledge toward translational work, e.g. developing diagnostic tools and discovering biomarkers. Dr. Irizarry received his undergraduate training at the University of Puerto Rico (1993), and has maintained a strong interest in promoting research and educational initiatives on the island.


Michael Zigmond, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neurology
Center for Neuroscience
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Michael Zigmond is Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Zigmond’s research focuses on neurodegenerative diseases and approaches to neuroprotection. He served as Program Director of an NINDS-sponsored Program Project Grant and is the recipient of a MERIT award for his work on the neurochemical effects of acute and chronic stress. He serves on the editorial board of several journals including Progress in Neurobiology (Editor-in-Chief), and is a member of the advisory board of the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa.