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.

Judit Jiménez Sainz

National President of ECUSA

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

National Vicepresident of ECUSA

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.

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.

Esther Sanchez de León Ley

Co-director Advisory

Esther Sánchez de León holds a degree in Biology from the Complutense University of Madrid. After a brief stay in the laboratory of Massimo Squatrito (CNIO), she pursued a Master’s degree in Biomedicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, funded by a Fulbright Scholarship, and completed her Master’s thesis with David Dominguez-Sola. He is currently pursuing her PhD at Weill Cornell Medicine, in the laboratory of John Petrini (MSKCC), studying the mechanisms of response to DNA damage caused by oncogenes. In ECUSA he collaborates with Advisory and is part of the New York board. She has been selected to be part of the Homeward Bound 6 leadership program.

Juliana Abraham

Advisory and MECUSA

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.

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.


Ylenia Cendón Flores


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Ylenia obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences from the Autonomous University of Madrid, working on inherited mutations in Prostate Cancer at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center. Nowadays she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her work is focused on understanding how chromosomal rearrangements drive tumorigenesis and contribute to drug resistance. Apart from science, she is also passionate about meeting people and new places, music, and art.

Juan Francisco Rodríguez


PhD in Molecular Biomedicine by the University of Bonn and Immunology lover. Currently, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Pediatrics Department at Weill Cornell Medicine. His research focuses on characterizing the molecular patterns that drive autoimmune diseases such as pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Juan’s professional goal is to identify novel molecular targets that provide the basis for developing personalized therapies for patients with inflammatory diseases.


Alba Boix Amorós


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She received her Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), where she studied the human milk microbiome in health and during lactational mastitis. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where her work is focused on the study of the human microbiome in different settings, including the maternal transfer of bacteria to the infant at delivery and the protective role of a healthy microbiome against disease.


Adrián Vega


Adrián Vega holds a degree in Pharmacy from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. He earned his doctorate in Molecular Biosciences from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2021 working at CNB-CSIC. During his PhD work he studied the innate immune system in the context of bacterial infections. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine (New York, USA) where he uses CRISPR base editing technologies to better understand the immune microenvironment in the context of tumor development.


Adrián Acuña Ruiz


PhD in Molecular Biosciences at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols” (IIBM) by the Autonomous University of Madrid. He performed his doctoral thesis on the search of new molecular targets for the treatment of undifferentiated thyroid cancer. Adrian is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He participates and focuses on adaptive resistance to MAPK inhibitors and chromatin remodeling regulation in thyroid cancer.


Let’s talk

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