RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement)


The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) is a developmental program granted by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R25GM082406) that seeks to increase the capacity of students underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to complete Ph.D. degrees in these fields, advance to competitive postdoctoral positions, and enter productive research careers. By strengthening students’ academic preparation, research training and professional skills, the RISE Program helps to reduce the existing gap of Ph.D. degrees conferred between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students.

RISE trainees at Ponce Health Sciences University benefit from:

  • Annual salary
  • Tuition waiver
  • Annual lab supplies and travel allowance
  • Funds for external training opportunities
  • Continuous team-based and individual mentoring
  • Hands-on professional development and research training
  • Advanced instruction in communication and writing
  • Team building and networking opportunities

Contact information:

Caroline Appleyard, Ph.D.
Program Director
(787) 840-2575 ext.2165

James Porter, Ph.D.
Associate Program Director
(787) 840-2575 ext. 2251

Jean Marie Schmidt, M.Ed.
Program Coordinator
(787) 284-2038

RCMI Program


The main goal of the RCMI Program is to promote high quality translational research with a strong emphasis in health disparities. This new program consists of four Core activities: Administration, AIDS Research Infrastructure, Molecular Biology and Genomics, and the Behavioral Research and Integrated Neurosciences. The Administrative Core is intended to spearhead a series of initiatives designed to strengthen the institution as a robust and vibrant translational research center, and to further develop our research faculty into independent and competent biomedical researchers. These initiatives include the organization and inception of a Research Pilot Project Program to sponsor innovative clinical and translational activities; professional development activities (seminar series, workshops, short courses, mentoring efforts, etc.); a faculty recruitment program, a mentoring program, and efforts to enhance research collaborations and partnerships between PHSU-PRI and other RCMI as well as Non-RCMI Institutions;  This new RCMI Program at PHSU-PRI will experience the benefits of a well- integrated and committed administrative structure.

PI: Dr. Jose A. Torres-Ruiz,
AIDS Core: Dr. Yasuhiro Yamamura
Brain Core: Dr. James Porter
MAGIC Core Dr. Richard Noel

Moffitt Cancer Center Partnership


For more information and a complete list of scientists and staff at MCC, please visit:
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 The geographic proximity and large Hispanic populations in Florida and Puerto Rico have driven the formation of an academic partnership between the Ponce Health Sciences University in Ponce, Puerto Rico and Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) in Tampa, Florida.  Supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (U54CA16307) to eliminate cancer-related health disparities, the Partnership is focused on developing and improving cancer care outcomes for Hispanics in Puerto Rico and Florida by enhancing cancer care, personalized medicine, participation in clinical research and understanding the underlying basic mechanisms of cancer. This alliance has led to the successful establishment of joint programs for research, community outreach, cancer education and training, and tissue banking resulting in the development of collaborations, networks and infrastructure necessary for a sustained long-term partnership.

Principal Investigators

Jaime  Matta, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Jose A. Torres-Ruiz, PhD
Principal Investigator

Scientists and staff at PHSU:

Puerto Rico Biobank: Idhaliz Flores, Ph.D.
Basic Research: Pedro Santiago, Ph.D.; Julie Dutil, Ph.D.
Training/Career Development: Caroline Appleyard, Ph.D.
Community Outreach: Julio Jiménez, M.D.
Program Manager:  Hannia Delgado, BSS

Health Disparities – RTRN


PHSU partnership with RCMI Translational Research Network allows its researches access to data technology coordinating centers, working groups and education and training platforms.

RTRN is a national, NCRR-funded consortium of basic, behavioral, clinical and translational researchers in RCMI Centers working in collaboration to generate new knowledge that will contribute to eliminate health disparities. RTRN facilitates innovative multi- and cross-disciplinary translational research to prevent, diagnose, and treat a host of diseases of public health importance.

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Health Disparities – PRCTRC


The Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) was established on September 2010 as a concept to advance translation of knowledge and to have an impact on health disparities in Puerto Rico.  The PRCTRC is a multidisciplinary and collaborative effort between PHSU and other major academic health care institutions: the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Universidad Central del Caribe and the Ponce Research Institute. This program is inclusive, incorporating leadership from all participating institutions at several levels of administrative responsibility. It also provides a unique opportunity to incorporate resources and have an impact across a state-size territory composed primarily of a minority population.

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