The ECR initiative is excited to welcome two new members: Drs. Rob Rivers and Omar Mendoza Porras. They will play key organizing roles in ECR activities, such as the HUPO Manuscript Competition, Mentoring Day and Ph.D. Poster Competition. Please have a look at their short biographies to get to know them a little better.
Rob Rivers, PhD is a program director in the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC) at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one of the Institutes that comprises the United States National Institutes of Health. In his role as a program director he leads programs focused on increasing the diversity of the biomedical research work force and expanding NIDDK’s research portfolio in health disparities related research. Previously, Rob worked in the Office of Cancer Clinical Research at the National Cancer Institute where he helped to fund and guide proteomics initiatives in cancer. His doctoral research focused on the study of intrinsically disordered proteins and their propensity to aggregate, and their implications in disease. In addition to his work in science, he is active in the local and global community and was instrumental in starting the international non-profit organization Umbrella Initiatives Foundation that helps in providing improved educational opportunities to children living in poverty in Peru, Bolivia and Montgomery County, MD (www.umbrellainitiatives.org). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry (2008) from the University of Cambridge and a B.S. degree in Chemistry (2003) from Kentucky State University.
Dr. Omar Mendoza-Porras is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, where he enables proteomics research into commercial aquaculture species. His research focuses on identifying markers for growth and immunity in plasma of cultured shrimp and salmon with the goal to help develop sustainable diets that stimulate optimal growth and health. Dr. Mendoza-Porras also investigates the importance of hemocyanin subunit heterogeneity in human allergenicity following shrimp consumption with a focus on epitope identification. Dr. Mendoza-Porras obtained his B.Sc. in Oceanography and M.Sc. in Marine Biotechnology at the University of Colima and CICESE, Mexico. His Ph.D. was conferred at Flinders University, Australia, where he identified sexual maturation markers in gonads of cultured abalone using proteomics.