Michelle Borrero

Rio Piedras


University of Puerto Rico

I have pursued scientific teaching as a scholarly activity since my recruitment at UPR in 2001.  I have used my training as an immunologist to develop various initiatives to integrate quantitative and bioinformatics skills into the Biology curriculum through institutional, NIH, and NSF funds.  For the last 8 years I have been the Director of the Center for Science and Math Education Research, which provides support to discipline-based education researchers and to other scientists that are interested in outreach opportunities to K-12 schools.  My research interests focuses on undergraduate biology and K-12 math and science education.  I develop initiatives and interventions to strengthen the undergraduate biology curriculum and professional development programs for K-12 teachers. Currently, I am working on a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience for the development of undergraduate students’ scientific skills.  Also, I am developing several research instruments to measure the effectiveness of K-12 professional development interventions.  Currently, I serve as Co-PI of two NSF funded projects that aim to: 1) develop computer science education in Puerto Rico, and 2) understand the genetic mechanisms underlying the genome to phenome relationship, respectively. 

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Genome to phenome: DNA-protein interactions involved in butterfly wing colored development part of CUREnet:Institutes:University of Puerto Rico:Examples
We are interested in understanding the genomic mechanisms underlying morphological differences within species. We will use the wing color pattern of Heliconius erato as a model. We have developed a Course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) that will engage undergraduate biology majors in the identification and purification of transcription factors in butterfly wing development. Through this experience students will be able to use the knowledge and concepts from the literature to make and defend decisions, explain the role of DNA binding proteins in the genome to phenome relationship and recognize the application and utility of the techniques used in the research for their career development.