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Project Investigator Biography

Jose A. Torres-Ruiz, Ph.D. Jose A. Torres-Ruiz, Ph.D.

Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico
PO Box 7004, Industrial Park, Lote 2 By Pass,
Ponce, PR 00732-7004
phone: (787) 840-2575
fax: (787) 841-1040

Dr. Torres-Ruiz is Director of the National Institutes of Health-Minority Biomedical Research Support (NIH-MBRS) Program, Chairman of the Biochemistry Department, Director of the Office for Sponsored Research Projects and Programs, and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. In these capacities, he provides leadership for the coordination, management and administration of multifaceted research programs as well as other research related activities. He is also President of the Minority Access to Research Careers and Minority Biomedical Research Support (MARC/MBRS) Program Directors Organization. In addition, he is the PI of the NCI U-56 Ponce School of Medicine/Moffitt Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership, whose mission is to create the basic infrastructure for the establishment and expansion of a research and educational cancer center to serve the south region of the city of Ponce in Puerto Rico. Most recently, Dr. Torres-Ruiz was named the Principal Investigator of the Puerto Rico Site for the “Trial to Prevent Insulin Dependent Diabetes in Genetically at Risk (TRIGR) Program. He has served as a scientific reviewer for a variety of programs managed through the NIH, NSF, Department of Defense, and the Howard Hughes Foundation.

Dr. Torres-Ruiz’research interests have focused on elucidating the mechanisms of action of Molecular Chaperones/Heat Shock Proteins from prokaryotic as well as eukaryotic organisms. Molecular Chaperones have proven to have a fundamental role in protein folding and, therefore, a wide range of biological processes including cell cycling and cell survival under pathological conditions such as cancer.

Dr. Torres-Ruiz earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in biology from Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Washington University. In 1988, he became an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. He was promoted to the ranks of Associate Professor and Full Professor. He accepted a Visiting Professorship in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Washington State University.

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Other Project Investigator
Jack Pledger, Ph.D.
Updated: 04/30/12