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San Juan, Puerto Rico

The University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras , also referred to as UPR-RP, is a public research university located on a 289-acre campus in Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico.UPR-RP serves more than 18,000 students, 20% graduate, and grants an average of over 3,000 degrees a year. It is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as an Intensive Doctoral/Research University. As a public comprehensive doctoral institution, its academic offerings range from the baccalaureate to the doctoral degree, through 70 undergraduate programs and 19 graduate degrees with 71 specializations in the basic disciplines and professional fields. UPR‐RP has consistently granted the largest number of doctorate degrees to Hispanics in the US.UPR-RP is the largest campus in terms of student population of the University of Puerto Rico System, and Puerto Rico's first public university. Wikipedia.

Melendez R.I.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2011

Background: Using adult C57BL/6J (B6) mice, we previously developed a procedure that causes a progressive increase in ethanol intake and preference (i.e., alcohol escalation effect) following weekly (intermittent) access to ethanol (Melendez et al., 2006). A limitation of this procedure is that it requires many weeks of testing, which limits its use to study ethanol escalation (i.e., binge-like drinking) during adolescence. Previous studies have shown that intermittent every-other-day (EOD) access to ethanol is sufficient to induce ethanol escalation in rats. The objective of this study was to verify whether EOD access is sufficient to induce escalated levels of ethanol intake and preference in adult and adolescent B6 mice. Methods: Male B6 mice received free-choice 24-hour access to 15% ethanol and water on an EOD or daily basis for 2weeks. Food and water were available at all times. Using adult mice, Experiment 1 characterized the induction of ethanol escalation following EOD access at 6 (i.e., drinking in the dark) and 24-hour intervals, whereas Experiment 2 determined whether daily drinking reverses escalation induced by EOD drinking. Experiment 3 compared ethanol-drinking capacity following daily versus EOD drinking in adolescent (P30-45) and adult (P70-85) mice. Results: Experiment 1 revealed that EOD drinking leads to a significant (nearly 2-fold) increase in ethanol intake and preference over mice given daily access. Experiment 2 demonstrated that EOD-elicited escalation is blocked and subsequently reversed following daily drinking. Experiment 3 revealed that ethanol drinking was greater in adolescent mice compared with adults following daily drinking and EOD (escalated) drinking. Although the escalated levels of ethanol intake were greater in adolescent mice, the rate or onset of escalation was comparable between both age-groups. Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that EOD drinking leads to escalation of ethanol intake and preference in adolescent and adult mice. Moreover, our results indicate that daily ethanol reverses ethanol escalation induced by intermittent drinking. The study also revealed that adolescent mice have a greater capacity to drink ethanol under both daily (controlled) and EOD (escalated) conditions, which further supports the notion of adolescent's susceptibility to heavy drinking. © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Santiago-Casas Y.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Arthritis care & research | Year: 2012

To determine the clinical manifestations and disease damage associated with discoid rash in a large multiethnic systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cohort. SLE patients (per American College of Rheumatology [ACR] criteria) ages ≥16 years with a disease duration of ≤10 years at enrollment and defined ethnicity (African American, Hispanic, or white) from a longitudinal cohort were studied. Socioeconomic-demographic features, clinical manifestations, and disease damage (per the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR Damage Index) were determined. The association of discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) with clinical manifestations and disease damage was examined using multivariable logistic regression. A total of 2,228 SLE patients were studied. The mean ± SD age at diagnosis was 34.3 ± 12.8 years and the mean ± SD disease duration was 7.9 ± 6.0 years; 91.8% were women. DLE was observed in 393 patients with SLE (17.6%). In the multivariable analysis, patients with DLE were more likely to be smokers and of African American ethnicity and to have malar rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, leukopenia, and vasculitis. DLE patients were less likely to be of Hispanic (from Texas) ethnicity and to have arthritis, end-stage renal disease, and antinuclear, anti-double-stranded DNA, and antiphospholipid antibodies. Patients with DLE had more damage accrual, particularly chronic seizures, scarring alopecia, scarring of the skin, and skin ulcers. In this cohort of SLE patients, DLE was associated with several clinical features, including serious manifestations such as vasculitis and chronic seizures. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.

Ayala-Pena S.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2013

Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with an autosomal dominant expression pattern and typically a late-onset appearance. HD is a movement disorder with a heterogeneous phenotype characterized by involuntary dance-like gait, bioenergetic deficits, motor impairment, and cognitive and psychiatric deficits. Compelling evidence suggests that increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction may underlie HD pathogenesis. However, the exact mechanisms underlying mutant huntingtin-induced neurological toxicity remain unclear. The objective of this paper is to review recent literature regarding the role of oxidative DNA damage in mitochondrial dysfunction and HD pathogenesis. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kuffler D.P.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Progress in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

Restoring neurological function to a damaged peripheral nerve separated by a gap requires axon regeneration (1) across the gap, no matter its length, and then (2) through the distal portion of the nerve, regardless of the time between the trauma and repair, and irrespective of animal or patient age. Sensory nerve grafts, the clinical "gold standard", and most alternative techniques for bridging nerve gaps, promote reliable axon regeneration only across nerve gaps <2. cm in length, and with few axons regenerating when nerve repairs are performed >2 months post-trauma or for patients >20 years of age. Three novel nerve repair techniques are discussed that induce axon regeneration and neurological recovery clinically under conditions where other techniques are ineffective: for nerve gaps up to cm long, repairs performed as late as 3.25 years post-trauma, and for patients up to 58 years old. The mechanisms by which these techniques may work are discussed. Although these techniques provide significant improvements in the extents of axon regeneration and neurological recovery, more extensive and reliable clinical recovery of neurological function is needed and will probably require the simultaneous application of multiple techniques. © 2014.

Prospero J.M.,University of Miami | Mayol-Bracero O.L.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | Year: 2013

The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) dust product shows a strong link to the seasonal migration of the intertropical convergence zone over West Africa and monsoon dynamics. All these processes could play a fundamental role in dust emissions; the relative importance of these processes could change with season and with changing climate. Improved model performance will require a more accurate description of all processes controlling dust mobilization and distribution including the evolution and persistence of the strong stratification of dust layers. Models are essential to the development of an understanding of the entire dust cycle. However, dust models are in an early stage of development. A recent intercomparison of 15 global models in the Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models (AEROCOM) project shows large disparities.

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