PACR Faculty

The PACR supports collaborative research projects, outreach initiatives and education programs between scientists and educators in Seattle, Washington and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Faculty at each institution conduct collaborative research projects, and contribute to outreach and education initiatives in NM and WA.

The PACR Team in Seattle, Washington

Principal Investigators

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Beti Thompson, Ph.D.

Member, Public Health Sciences Division

Dr. Thompson’s research focuses on developing community approaches to reducing cancer and other health disparities in underserved populations, both in the US and abroad.

Julian Simon, Ph.D.

Associate Member, Clinical Research Division
Associate Member, Human Biology Division
Associate Member, Public Health Sciences Division

Dr. Simon researches the development of small molecules as mechanistic probes for cellular processes and as potential lead compounds for the development of therapeutic agents.

Co-investigators

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Shirley Beresford, Ph.D.

Member, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead

Roger Brent, Ph.D.

Member, Basic Sciences
Member, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead

Ruth Etzioni, Ph.D.

Member, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead

Chris Kemp, Ph.D.

Member, Human Biology

Project Lead

Chris Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Member, Public Health Sciences

Project lead

Karen Peterson, Ph.D.

Director, Scientific Career Development, Human Biology

Core Lead

Peggy Porter, M.D.

Member, Human Biology
Member, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead

Rachel M. Ceballos, Ph.D.

Associate Member, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead; Core Lead

India Ornelas, Ph.D.

Associate Member, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead

Elizabeth Loggers, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Member, Clinical Research

Project Lead

Frances Lewis, RN, MN, Ph.D., FAAN

Affiliate, Public Health Sciences

Project Lead

Eric Holland, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior VP and Director, Human Biology

Project Lead

Program Staff

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Marilyn Drennan

Program Manager

Megan Walter

Program Assistant

The PACR Team in Las Cruces, New Mexico

As the state’s land grant institution, New Mexico State University has a presence in every county in the state through its branch campuses and Extension Service, allowing much of New Mexico’s population access to educational opportunities. NMSU’s main campus is located in Dona Ana County, which has a 65% Hispanic population.

With 62% minority enrollment, the NMSU undergraduate program is a minority-majority institution. Further, NMSU is the only Doctoral/Research University-Extensive ranked by the National Science Foundation with significant representation of both Hispanic and Native American students.

Principal Investigators

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Mary O’Connell, Ph.D.

Regents Professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences

Dr. O’Connell’s research expertise encompasses plant molecular genetics, biochemistry and natural product isolation and analysis. She studies plant gene expression and genetic diversity, with specific emphasis on capsaicinoid and carotenoid biosynthetic pathways, and has characterized a number of plant extracts and purified plant metabolites for anti-cancer activities.

Graciela Unguez, Ph.D.

Professor, Biology

Dr. Unguez’s research interests focus on the mechanisms responsible for the formation, plasticity and regeneration of different components of neuromuscular and other electromotor circuits in adult vertebrates. Her lab uses electric fishes to study how the skeletal muscle program is modified to become the electric organ, that is, a non-contractile tissue specialized to generate electricity, and determine the role played by the nervous system in the differentiation of electrogenic cell types.

Co-investigators

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Amanda Ashley, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, Animal and Range Sciences

Project Lead

Ryan Ashley, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Animal and Range Sciences

Project Lead

Ivan de la Rosa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Project Lead

Phone: 575.646.8096

Charlotte Gard, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Applied Statistics & International Business Department

Project Lead

Jessica Houston, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Project Lead

Phone: 575.646.5563

Kevin Lombard, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Agriculture Science Center at Farmington

Project Lead

Rebecca Palacios, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences

Project & Core Lead

Mary Alice Scott, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology

Core Lead

Paul Tian, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Project Lead

Program Staff

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Helena “Lene” Loest

Program Manager