Jay is a Ph.D. student at Penn in the Immunology Graduate Group (IGG) Program. He is primarily interested in understanding the role of rare epithelial cell subsets such as tuft cells in the upper and lower airways as initiators of type 2 immune responses to aeroallergens and in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases such as chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and allergic asthma. His work in the Herbert lab will be focused on dissecting type 2 immune circuits involving sinonasal tuft cells and trigeminal sensory neurons in models of allergic inflammation.
Jay has been selected as a Co-Director for the Immunology Graduate Student Association (IGA) Board for the 2020-2021 school year.
Jay has founded and is co-director for the Penn Interdisciplinary Network for Scientists Promoting Inclusion, Retention, and Equity (Penn INSPIRE). It is a trainee-led coalition advocating for scientists and physicians historically marginalized and excluded in STEM across all degree and professional levels. We strive to create inclusive platforms, advocating for and implementing initiatives to empower individuals at the margins of Academia, with diverse gender identities, backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We are dedicated to expanding opportunities for current graduate and medical students, as well as postdoctoral fellows in the Penn community through outreach, fundraising, entrepreneurship, and media engagement initiatives. Follow it on Twitter @PennInspire
Where are you from?
Aibonito, Puerto Rico
What is your favorite hangout place or favorite thing to do?
Outside of lab, Jay enjoys running, exploring art museums, and trying out new restaurants and bars around Philly with friends. Simón is Jay’s lucky cat who gets to be spoiled!
What is your prior degree/training?
B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
What is your career aspiration?
Jay currently aspires to bring the skills he’ll develop during his Ph.D. training to a career in scientific advocacy and outreach.
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