Who are we?

The New York metropolitan area is one of the major scientific hubs in the United States. This tri-state area is home to an impressive array of world-class academic and research institutions, including world-renowned universities and many public and private research laboratories. The New York metropolitan area is the second largest area in the United States in terms of public research funding. On the other hand, this region is at the crossroads of finance, legal and international business, facilitating entrepreneurship in all aspects of science and technology. People from all over the globe come to this region as graduate students, postdocs, research scientists and entrepreneurs, constituting one of the most vibrant and dynamic scientific communities in the world; and Spanish scientists contribute greatly to this community. This reality made possible the development of a platform to ease interactions between researchers, science professionals, entrepreneurs and Spanish institutions located here. As such, ECUSA-NY vow to promote these types of meetings.

Keep growing ans sharing experiences with us!

What do we do?

We organize events and promote networking between ECUSA members. We look forward to seeing you at all of our events, which we will inform you about on this New York Chapter web-page and through ECUSA’s social media channels.

Chapter Board

María Tello Lafoz


María finished her doctoral thesis at the Department of Immunology and Oncology of the National Center of Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) in Madrid, Spain. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The main goal of her research is to increase the effectiveness of immunotherapies based on cytotoxic lymphocytes by altering the biophysical properties of tumor cells.

Sandra Franco


Sandra holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the Universidad Autonoma of Barcelona. She worked as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Department of Pathology and Cellular Biology at Columbia University in New York City, focusing on mitochondrial dysfunction and lipid metabolism alterations in muscular dystrophies. Currently, she works at the New York Genome Center as Research, Education and Outreach Coordinator, developing and implementing science outreach activities to promote scientific engagement in young students.

Emma Muíños López


Emma did her doctoral thesis on cartilage regeneration with amniotic membrane stem cells at the Institute for Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC). She continued with her first postdoc at the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra working on in vivo screening of bioprinted biomaterials. She moved to New York in 2018 for her second postdoc at NYU Langone Health on Inflammaging. Her research is focused on understanding how the immune system affects bone regeneration during aging, with the aim of improving fracture repair in older patients.


Giselle Castillo


She is a physician who has found her calling in the study of infectious diseases, molecular epidemiology and translational medicine. Her research focuses on the study of the pathogenesis and clinical and genetic characteristics of patients with infectious diseases. She has recently completed a fellowship in Epidemiological Pharmacovigilance at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She currently works at WorldCare Clinical as a member of the Opportunistic Diseases Scientific Committee for the detection of adverse events and patient safety in clinical trials.

Álvaro Curiel


He has double B.Sc. in Biology and Biochemistry (University of Navarra), and he performed his doctoral thesis at the National Center for Oncological Research on chemoresistance mechanisms and animal models for brain tumors. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University where he participates and focuses on identifying personalized therapies for patients with pancreatic cancer in collaboration with the Presbyterian Hospital of NY. Alvaro is the current Director of Career Development and Advisory commission as well as an active member of the New York chapter and the MECUSA commission.

Juliana Abraham


Juliana Abraham is a Biochemist graduated from Buenos Aires University and she earned a Ph.D in Environmental Science and Technology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Currently, she is a Research Scientist at the Center for Environmental Systems, Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ. Her research focuses on the recovery and valorization of liquid and solid waste through biological processes to obtain energy and high-value products. Juliana was co-director of the advisory program (2017-2021) and continues to collaborate as a member of this team. She has also been a member of the Board of the NY chapter since 2015 and a member of the MECUSA commission since 2017.

Patricia Martín-Maestro


PhD in Molecular Biosciences at the CBMSO by the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research focuses on mitochondrial abnormalities as a key factor in Alzheimer’s disease.

Melisa Lopez-Anton


Melisa is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Julio Aguirre-Ghiso’s group in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Tish Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, New York. Her research aims to better understand the differences between dormant and growing disseminated cancer cells in order to (a) block the cancer cells in a permanent dormant state or (b) eliminate this specific population of cells. Melisa has received numerous European scholarships during her research career including a Marie Curie fellowship sponsoring her PhD at Cardiff University, and a Leonardo DaVinci scholarship to train at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. Melisa is the program director of MECUSA, a member of ASCO, AACR, NYAS and SRUK. “To face the immense challenges of the 21st century, the world cannot deprive itself of the potential, intelligence and creativity of thousands of women” (Henri Beyle). More than two centuries after the writer Henri Beyle pronounced this phrase, Melisa is convinced that MECUSA will help make it finally come true.

Camila Rubio Patiño

Networking & MECUSA

PhD in Biomedicine from the University of Barcelona. Currently, postdoctoral researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Her research focuses on the role of mitochondria in senescence and transformation processes induced by oncogenes.

Pablo Ranea Robles

Events coordinator/Networking

I am a scientist fascinated by metabolism. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow investigating the physiology of obesity and weight loss biology, at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before that I did a postdoc investigating fatty acid oxidation disorders at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. During that time I was an active member of ECUSA. I earned my Ph.D. in Biomedicine in the University of Barcelona and my Bachelor in Biology in the University of Granada. I am also interested in scientific communication and open science.

Judit Jiménez Sainz

President / Communication

Judit is a biochemist and geneticist who researches why certain women with BRCA2 mutations have an increased risk of female cancers and how to prevent and cure it at the molecular level. Judit joined ECUSA in 2015 and since then, she has actively participated in the Advisory program and co-directed the E-visibility program, highlighting novel research and researchers’ endeavors. Judit was elected President of ECUSA in May 2021. Her engagement focuses on bringing ECUSA community together and on moving ECUSA to a global recognized non-profit association with the united growth of all the members. She joined the Faculty Advisory Council at Yale in November 2020 to represent the research associate scientists at Yale Medical School and advocate for the benefits and professional development of this group of scientists. Judit wants to promote equity, diversity and leadership skills. She is an advocate of Women in Science. Judit strongly believes that the members of ECUSA and the new generation of STEMM can be a engine to move our planet to a better one. Judit is one of 75 women leaders selected for Homeward Bound Program 5(#HB5). Judit gets energy from family, dance, nature, meditation and, spending time with others. She strongly values curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and exploring outside her comfort zone.

Alma Eva Pérez


PhD in Physics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine. She develops and apply new High Speed Atomic Force Microscopy (HS-AFM) methods for the study of the dynamics and structure of membrane proteins. PhD in Physics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine. She studies the dynamics and structure of protein membranes by using atomic force microscopy.

Miguel Foronda Álvaro

Professional Development

PhD in Molecular Biosciences at the CNIO by the Autonomous University of Madrid, characterizing processes that link cancer and aging. He is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine modeling recurrent chromosomal rearrangements to search for new vulnerabilities in colorectal cancer.

Virginia del Solar Fernández


Virginia, born in Asturias and holder of a degree in Chemistry from the Universidad de Oviedo, earned her doctorate in Chemistry from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2012, moving to Buffalo (New York, USA) few weeks later. She was Associate Postdoctoral Researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo where she studied the involvement of lipids in different biological processes and the effect of synthetic glycosides on the inflammatory response. Subsequently, she worked as a Research Associate at Brooklyn College and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City where her research focused on the distribution of gold antitumor complexes as antibody drug-conjugates (ADCs) or peptide nanoparticles. She is currently working on biomarker discovery as a scientist at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, a UK-based company that collaborates with universities and other companies in order to achieve safer, more effective, scalable and affordable cell and gene therapies.


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