Microsoft word - cv_nih training_proposal_patricia.doc

Program Director/Principal Investigator (Last, First, Middle): BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Provide the following information for the key personnel and other significant contributors in the order listed on Form Page 2. Follow this format for each person. DO NOT EXCEED FOUR PAGES.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login) portizbermudez EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, and include postdoctoral training.) A. Personal Statement.
The PI’s research laboratory is committed to the development of more effective, less toxic antifungal agents utilizing fundamental knowledge about the interaction of molecules with biological interfases. Our goal is to understand how bio-molecules interact with the surface of a fungal cell and characterize the process, for the advancement of pharmacotherapy and drug delivery strategies. The challenge we are confronted with is the ability to generate molecules that are target-specific, with decreased toxicity that can be easily modified to interact with various targets within fungal cells. In order to tackle this challenge, the implementation of multidisciplinary approaches is key. The PI combines expertise in microbial physiology, biochemistry and genetics to fulfill this criterion. In summary, the PI seeks transformative approaches that will result in the development of new tools that can be implemented in areas such as emerging biomaterials, drug delivery and drug design. During the second year of residence in her current tenure-track position at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM), the PI was awarded NSF funds through the Puerto Rico EPSCoR project: Infrastructure Building Towards an Institute for Functional Nanomaterials (IFN) in Puerto Rico (NSF Grant# 0701525). The award contributed to the initiation and development of her new research plan in the area of Biomaterials. As a result, the UPRM Microbial and Biochemical Technology Laboratory (MBT) was created. Through these efforts she started collaborations with colleagues in the area of material science, who wanted to carry out experiments in biological systems. The EPSCoR grant also helped finance travel to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she developed interest in the design, synthesis, and characterization of beta-peptides. Given her solid synthetic organic chemistry background, she accepted the challenge to enter in this new area. She received training at the Department of Chemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Sam Gellman, an expert in the synthesis and design of beta-peptides. Subsequently, in collaboration with Dr. Gellman and other colleagues, an NSF-PREM grant to create a science and education partnership between UW-Madison and UPRM was received (WiPR(EM)2, Grant# 0934115). With these funds the PI started to materialize her proposed research plan focused on the characterization and development of antifungal beta-peptides. Beta-peptides have been designed to mimic natural host-defense peptides. Unfortunately, very little is known about the molecular mechanism of action of this material. During the past year Dr. Ortiz-Bermúdez and
her research group have been conducting experiments in collaboration with Dr. Sean Palecek, from the
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the UW-Madison, to elucidatate the mechanisms of
action of antifungal beta-peptides in yeasts. Implementing a genetic approach several genes were identified as
potencial key players in the activity of beta-peptides in the cell. The PI is also interested in further developing
polymeric beta-peptides to produce nano-structured materials with intrinsic antimicrobial properties utilizing
high throughput techniques.
B. Positions and Honors.
Professional Positions

August 2000 – December 2000 Teaching Assistant, Department of Bacteriology, University of Biographical Sketch Format Page
Program Director/Principal Investigator (Last, First, Middle): January 2001 – May 2001 Teaching Assistant, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI January 2006 – June 2007 Adjunct Faculty, Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI July 2007 – Present Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR September 2009 – Present Honorary Professor, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI Honors/Awards

Regional High School Science Fair Grand Prize Award, Puerto Rico State High School Science Fair Grand Prize Award, Puerto Rico NIH-Minority High School Student Research Apprentice Program Award. Ponce School of Medicine, Ponce, Puerto Rico Participation in the INICE IX Encounter of Young Researchers, Salamanca Spain Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Research Award, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico Sloan Research Undergraduate Fellow, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Mayagüez, PR Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Award (SURF), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF), Graduate School, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Bio Directorate Invitee to the NSF Joint Annual Meeting, June 8-11, 2009 Washington, DC Key Note Speaker at the Pre SciTECC Conference on Biomimetics sponsored by the Center for Hemispherical Cooperation in Research and Education in Engineering and Applied Science, October 26, 2010, UPRM, Mayagüez, PR
B. Selected peer-reviewed publications

María del Pilar Sierra-Gómez and P. Ortiz-Bermúdez. 2011. Caffeine degradation by the ligniculous fungus
Alternaria alternata. (Manuscript under preparation to be submitted to Applied and Environmental
M. Cabrera, J. Seguel, and P. Ortiz-Bermúdez. 2011. “Building the Biological and Statistical Background for
Bioinformatics in Engineers at UPRM”, WORLDCOMP 2011 Frontiers in Education: Computer Science and
Computer Engineers Proceedings, CSREA Press, pp. 129-133.
Patricia Ortiz-Bermúdez, Cory Kent, Steve Giles, and Christina M. Hull. 2008. Formulation of a defined V8
medium to induce sexual development of Cryptococcus neoformans. Applied and Evironmental Microbiology,
Patricia Ortiz Bermúdez, Kolby C. Hirth, Ewald Srebotnik, and Kenneth E. Hammel. 2007. Chlorination of
lignin by ubiquitous fungi has a likely role in global organochlorine production. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.
Patricia Ortiz-Bermúdez, Ewald Srebotnik, and Kenneth E. Hammel. 2003.
Chlorination and Cleavage of Lignin Structures by Fungal Chloroperoxidases. Applied and Environmental
Microbiology, 69(8):5015-5018.
Continuation Format Page
Program Director/Principal Investigator (Last, First, Middle): J.C. Martínez-Cruzado, G. Toro-Labrador, V. Ho-Fung, M.A. Estévez-Montero, A. Lobaina-Manzanet, D.A.
Padovani-Claudio, H. Sánchez-Cruz, P. Ortiz-Bermúdez, and A. Sánchez-Crespo. 2001. Mitochondrial DNA
Analysis Reveals Substantial Native American Ancestry in Puerto Rico. Human Biology, 73(4): 491-511.
Mays, D.C., Ortiz-Bermúdez, P., Lam, J.P., Tong, Ik, Fauq, A.H., and Lipsky J.J. 1998. Inhibition of
Recombinant Human Mitochondrial Aldehyde Dehydrogenase by Two Intermediate Metabolites of Disulfiram.
Biochemical Pharmacology, 55: 1099-1103.

C. Ongoing Research and Education Support
Ortiz-Bermúdez, P.

1) NSF – PREM (Senior Personnel, IRT Leader) “Wisconsin-Puerto Rico Partnership for Research and Education in Material Science” University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Chemical Engineering Department 2) NIH-NIGMS-MARC Program (Senior Personnel) 01/01/2011- 01/01/2016 “Assisting Bioinformatics Efforts at Minority Institutions” National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing, Pittsburgh, PA and University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus 3) USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant (PI) 8/01/2010 - 7/31/2012 “Comprehensive Bio-utilization of Coffee Processing Waste” University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Chemical Engineering Department Continuation Format Page



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