Teresa Ramirez, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Brown University,
B.S. California State University, Dominguez Hills
Teresa Ramírez, Ph.D., is currently the NHGRI/ASHG Genetics and Education Fellow. She was a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Ramírez is a first-generation Mexican-American and the first from her family to have graduated from college and to have obtained a doctoral degree. She received her B.S. degree in General Biology from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2004. In 2004-2006, she participated in a post-baccalaureate program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, MD, where she studied how various drugs sensitize cancer cells to apoptosis. During her tenure at NCI, she became a mentor through the NCI sponsored Elementary Outreach Program to teach students about scientific careers and how to use a microscope. Dr. Ramírez has been a member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/as and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) for sixteen years, thanks to her undergraduate research advisor, Dr. Laura Robles, who introduced her to SACNAS. She earned a doctoral degree in Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology from Brown University in 2014, where genetics played a major part of her research studies. She studied the effects of chronic alcohol exposure in relation to insulin resistance, endoplasmic reticulum stress and lipid accumulation in the liver and its contribution to alcoholic liver disease. Her graduate research work was published in various scientific journals. At Brown University, Dr. Ramírez was the founder and first president of the Brown University SACNAS Chapter. During her time at Brown, she was a peer mentor through Brown’s African, Latin, Asian/Asian-American, and Native American undergraduate mentoring program, where she shared information about graduate school and STEM field career opportunities, by also serving as part of their educational support system. In 2009, Dr. Ramírez was awarded the Student Role Model Award and in 2016 the Mentor Role Model Award from the Minority Access, Inc. In 2009, she received the Pre-doctoral Ford Foundation Fellowship. In 2015, she became a member of the National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) and this year, and in 2016, she was recognized as the best poster award as a young investigator. After obtaining her doctorate degree, she continued to be interested in studying the genetics of alcohol abuse and finding ways to prevent further liver injury. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the NIH, one of her goals was to use her current research experience to raise awareness in society about the chronic effects of excessive alcohol consumption and how aging play a role in inducing liver injury and the down-regulation of enzymes involved in cell survival. One way that she has achieved this was through community outreach. Dr. Ramírez is part of the NIH SACNAS Chapter and is the co-vice president. She is passionate about sharing her love for science and mentoring students. Dr. Ramírez goes back to her community in Compton, California, where she mentors and shares her educational/career trajectory to students, as well as by helping them with scholarship, financial aid and college applications. She has learned that setting a path for the next generation of STEM leaders is important. She firmly believes in the importance of mentorship and how it can create a positive impact in the lives of others as it did on hers. She advices students to stay focus and to continue following their dreams by working hard, staying positive and by always asking questions.