Recent NM-INBRE News

Savannah Padilla, a former NISE student will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science in Biology


Savannah Padilla, a previous NM INBRE internship awardee, started as a mentee with Dr. Sebastian Medina in the fall of 2020.   Savannah is currently in her last semester at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) and will be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. As she was entering her sophomore year, she came to the decision of pursuing a biology degree.  She made this decision after spending a great amount of time at the Achieving in Research, Mathematics, and Science (ARMAS) tutoring center and self-study center at NMHU. Read More

Congratulations to NM-INBRE investigator, Dr. Stewart Thompson on his new position as an Associate Professor at New Mexico Tech!

New Mexico INBRE is truly fortunate to have such incredibly gifted research investigators.  Dr. Stewart Thompson from New Mexico Tech received formal tenure as an Associate Professor.  For Dr. Thompson, New Mexico Tech stood out as an institution that had high quality instruction, a diverse student body, and the facilities to support his research.  Read More

NM-INBRE science advisor, Jeff Arterburn is recognized among the top 2% worldwide for research citations


New Mexico INBRE is proud to announce that Dr. Jeff Arterburn, along with other NMSU faculty members were recognized among the top 2% worldwide for research citations.  They were listed in a worldwide database of top scientists created by Stanford University. Read More

Congratulations to NM-INBRE investigator, Dr. David Torres on his latest publications!


New Mexico INBRE investigator and Chair of the Department of Math & Physical Science at Northern New Mexico College, Dr. David Torres had the opportunity to publish two impressive research papers: A low-cost computational approach to analyze spiking activity in cockroach sensory neurons, where undergraduates use a spike sorting routine developed in Octave to analyze the spiking activity generated from mechanical stimulation of spines of cockroach legs with the inexpensive SpikerBox amplifier and the free software Audacity. The second publication, Modeling the Influence of Mites on Honey Bee Populationsexplains the Varroa destructor mite, which has been associated with the recent decline in honey bee populations. Don’t forget to check them out!

NNMC & NM-INBRE Student Selected for National Biomedical Fellowship


Northern New Mexico College senior, Evelyn Juarez was named as one of ten students in the nation to receive the 2020 Academy for Research, Clinical, and Health Equity Scholarship (ARCHES) and participate in a fellowship program with the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Read More

NM-INBRE Experiential Learning Development Program at San Juan College

New Mexico INBRE’s Experiential Learning Development Program (ELDP) at San Juan College becomes a considerable accomplishment. Last summer as the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding, five students signed up for hands on research experience in two groups, Dr. Eric Miller’s group in Chemistry and Dr. Russel Grahn’s group in Biology. Read More

NISE Virtual Bioinformatics success during COVID-19 pandemic

Even though COVID-19 impacted summer internships last year, New Mexico INBRE was able to overcome this obstacle by offering a NISE Bioinformatics virtual course.  This last-minute decision became a rewarding experience for students and instructors involved. NM-INBRE investigator receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity.  Read More 

NM-INBRE investigator receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity

Dr. Ivana Mali, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology at Eastern New Mexico University and NM-INBRE investigator, has recently been awarded the ENMU Presidential Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, Creative Activity.  Dr. Mali was nominated by her peers, students, and the campus community for her amazing achievements and contributions to wildlife research. She will receive a check for $2,000 and a plaque.

Dr. Mali found out about this award while working out on the field, she was sitting on the bank of the Pecos River watching her students set turtle traps. “It put a big smile on my face as it is just a great feeling being recognized for the work not just me but my students put in in the past 5 years. I have a very dynamic lab and very hard-working students,” she said.  For her, this year is particularly challenging because she and her team are working on 4 different externally funded projects in the middle of pandemic, but this award gave her and her team a motivational boost. Read More 

INBRE Co-Director, Dr. Ryan Ashley receives the Mobley Family Endowed Distinguished Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Ashley on his receipt of the Mobley Family Endowed Distinguished Research Award.  This renowned award is given to faculty members whose attributes pertain to exemplary research like contributions to citable scientific literature, recognition from the scientific community, inclusion on peer review panels, development of practical applications of societal impact arising from the individual’s research, and development of a clear record of research results upon which other scientists may build.  Dr. Ashley was nominated by fellow faculty member, Dr. Jennifer Gifford.  We congratulate Dr. Ashley for this impressive achievement. For more information on his research, please visit

Members of New Mexico INBRE work together to provide the WHO hand sanitizer, face shields and face masks to Native Communities in the state

During this challenging time, it is more critical than ever to come together to help those most in need.  Some of our recognized network members teamed up to distribute face masks and hand sanitizers to the needing New Mexico Native Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This remarkable initiative started with New Mexico Tech and former INBRE student, Dr. Danielle Turner when she saw the recipe for the WHO Hand Sanitizer online and mentioned it to our NM-INBRE liaison at Tech, Dr. Snezna Rogelj.  Read More

Congratulations to Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege on his promotion to Associate Professor!


Gayan Rubansighege

We are excited to announced that Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege, a current New Mexico INBRE investigator has been promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Rubasinghege received his Ph.D. in Physical and Environmental Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 2011.  He’s currently a Chemistry Assistant Professor at New Mexico Tech.  As a New Mexico INBRE investigator, Dr. Rubasinghege has been able to excel his research and professional development skills.  His current research revolves around nanomaterial, polymer composite and environmental chemistry, studying hidden reaction pathways and mechanisms in environmental processes to better understand the impact of mineral oxides and engineered nanoparticles on poorly understood environmental process. NM-INBRE has been his primary funding source over the past four years. From the beginning of his carrier at New Mexico Tech as an assistant professor, NM-INBRE supported Dr.  Rubasinghege in building a robust biomedical science research program. “Given that student researchers play a very critical role in our work, both my graduate and undergraduate students were supported by INBRE not only financially but also via carrier development programs such as INBRE Symposium. In my opinion, NM-INBRE goes far and beyond a funding mechanism. Through proposal writing workshops, seminar series, and implementing tools to review our proposals before submitting them to NIH, INBRE helped me in the many ways that I never imagined,” said Dr.Rubasingheghe.

As for his future, Dr. Rubasinghege plans to use his promotion as an inspiration to continue the excellent work and progress towards higher goals. “In this effort, I would like to expand my research program via being more successful with federal grants, to build stronger collaborations with researchers across the globe, and guide more graduate and undergraduate students to find the scientist in them,” he said.  For more information on Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege and his research, click here.

NISE Program Teaching Assistant wins two prestigious awards

Aditi K
Congratulations to Aditi Kulkarni, NMSU graduate student and NISE program’s teaching assistant; who has received two significant awards.   Aditi won the Grad Award for Research Excellence and the Grad Award for Teaching Excellence for 2020.  

According to Dr. Tim Wright, the Awards Committee was uniformly impressed with the contributions she has made to both the research and the teaching mission of the NMSU Biology Department.  She is the first graduate student to receive both awards in the same year.  Combined, both awards provide a monetary sum of $3,000.  She plans to turn the investment in her future education and career goals. Read More



Dr. Stewart Thompson from New Mexico Tech sparks interest in light, sleep and cancer among students and Faculty at San Juan College


     One of New Mexico INBRE main objectives is to increase faculty professional development along with investigator collaboration throughout the state.  Dr. Stewart Thompson, a current NM-INBRE investigator from New Mexico Tech had the opportunity to visit and present his talk “Switching on those lights after dark is toxic to your health: Why blind women get breast cancer less often” at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico.  Dr. Thompson’s talk sparked a great interest in his research among students and faculty, helping them learn about the role melatonin plays with light, sleep and cancer.  Read More

NMSU & NISE professor joins initiative to fight shortage of new antibiotics


New Mexico State University & New Mexico INBRE are joining the push to mitigate one of the most critical public health crises facing the world: antibiotic resistance. Dr. Lee Uranga, NMSU professor took part in a week-long training to become a partner instructor in the Tiny Earth network, a program founded by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jo Handelsman with a two-fold mission: to encourage students to pursue careers in science through real-world applicable laboratory and field research in introductory courses, and to address a worldwide health threat – the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics – by tapping into the collective power of many student researchers concurrently tackling the same challenge, living up to Tiny Earth’s motto, “studentsourcing antibiotic discovery.” Read More

National Institute of General Medical Sciences debuts Pathways


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences is excited to debut Pathways, from NIGMS and Scholastic, Inc. Pathways is a collection of free materials that teaches students about basic science and career pathways. Check out these resources, including a student magazine featuring researchers funded by NIGMS: Pathways.

New Mexico INBRE students are selected to attend NIH enrichment week program

Two students from one of New Mexico INBRE partner institutions were selected to attend the NIH enrichment week program.  Arantxa Curley and Chantelle Yazzie from San Juan College were invited to visit the NIH for the Annual NIH Visit week in Bethesda, MD.  The Annual NIH Visit Week is a one-week summer enrichment program to expose Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students to the National Institutes of Health and to biomedical research and healthcare careers. Selected students will participate in science career workshops, interactions in selected NIH laboratories and clinical research settings, a science journal club, informational interviews and professional networking and NIH internship opportunities throughout the week. Arantxa was motivated to apply by her professor,  “I’ve been applying to many internships and this visit week has been on my top  5 to go to and I am excited it’s happening!”  Chantelle saw this internship as a way to learn more about NIH, “My main motivation for applying to NIH was to learn more about the opportunities that are available in my field of study.”  The NIH visit week took place in from the 24 to the 28th of June, 2019.  Both students said that this program exceeded their expectations and recommends students to apply next year, “I recommend to get a great experience of the NIH Visit summer enrichment program because it was an eye opener for me as well as it can be for anyone who plan to go in the pathway of any type of biomedical, research, health field for their future career/academic goals,” Arantxa said.  For more information on the NIH enrichment program, please visit:

New Mexico INBRE investigator Dr. Kevin Houston has been awarded $1 million by the NIH

New Mexico INBRE investigator Dr. Kevin Houston has been awarded a $1 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate how GPER1-dependent mechanisms of tamoxifen action contribute to tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells. 

The goal of this multiyear study entitled “GPER1-Dependent Regulation of IGF-1R in Tamoxifen Treated Breast Cancer Cells” is to further characterize how GPER1 is involved in the development of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells and to identify potential targets for future design of pharmaceutical treatments that can lessen the likelihood that resistance will develop in breast cancer patients that are treated with tamoxifen.

In addition, this funding will provide the resources necessary to encourage and support both undergraduate and graduate students in research training while they are completing their studies at NMSU. 

Drug discovered by New Mexico INBRE’s UNM Liaison Dr. Eric Prossnitz and former NM-INBRE Director Dr. Jeff Arterburn could lead to new cancer treatments

Fifteen years after a chance meeting started their partnership, a compound Jeffrey Arterburn, and Eric Prossnitz discovered may lead to new skin cancer treatments.

Arterburn, a Regents professor in chemistry and biochemistry at New Mexico State University, and Prossnitz, a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, met after a regional scientific conference in 2003. Arterburn told Prossnitz about some compounds he had developed that might help Prossnitz’s research. The two quickly realized that their work dovetailed nicely. Complete Article


Congratulations to Dr. Rodolfo Tello-Aburto, one of our INBRE investigators for recently receiving federal funding by NIH for his R15 entitled “Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of Peptide Beta-Lactones as Proteasome Inhibitors and Anticancer Agents“.