I obtained my B.S. in Biology and M.S.degree in Genetics from the University of Valencia (Spain). I received my Ph.D. degree in Entomology from the University of Georgia, under the direction of Dr. Michael Adang. After appointments in the Department of Entomology and the University of Georgia as Postdoc and later as Assistant Research Scientist, I joined the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in 2006. I currently hold a Professor appointment in the department and my research and teaching activities concentrate in the areas of Insect Physiology and Molecular Pathology. More specifically, my research interests focus on the insect digestive system as a target for novel bioinsecticides and as a prospecting resource for new enzymes of industrial interest. My expertise is on the mode of action and resistance mechanisms against insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). I am also interested mechanisms of resistance to insecticidal gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi).
I see mentoring students and professionals as one of the most important roles of my position and a way to integrate my teaching and research responsibilities. While at UTIA, I have mentored three postdoctoral associates and nine graduate students, hosted 16 visiting students/scientists, and served in 20 graduate student committees. I highly value diversity in science and take pride in the fact that my laboratory is extremely diverse in gender, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The majority of my students have been members of STEM-underrepresented groups.