|Dr. Alexis Tapanes-Castillo
Research Assistant Professor of Biology and Laboratory Director
Faculty member since 2009
Dr. Alexis Tapanes-Castillo is a faculty member in the School of Science and Technology at Saint Thomas University. She earned her PhD in the field of Molecular Biology from the Department of Molecular Biology, Cornell University Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Sloan-Kettering Research Institute with major research in developmental biology, molecular signaling pathways, and genetics. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo then spent 5 years as a Postdoctoral Scientist at the University of Miami Medical School Miami Project to Cure Paralysis studying neuroscience, with a focus on axon growth and the genetics of hydrocephalus, a relatively common developmental central nervous system defect. In 2009, Dr. Tapanes-Castillo joined the faculty at St. Thomas. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo works as a lead scientist on a U.S.
Department of Defense funded project, awarded to Dr. Plunkett, which studies regeneration of the central nervous system in adult zebrafish. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo also teaches several courses and laboratories in the areas of biology, biochemistry, microbiology, neuroscience, and undergraduate research. In addition, she is an integral member of the Science Education Academy at St. Thomas University, which works towards improving K-12 science education. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo is a member of various scientific societies, and she is an active member of several University committees.
Research and Scholarly Interests
Dr. Tapanes-Castillo is currently working with Dr. Plunkett to investigate spinal cord injury and CNS regeneration in adult zebrafish. The goal is to elucidate genetic mechanisms underlying CNS regeneration. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo also collaborates with researchers at the University of Miami Medical School Hussman Institute for Human Genomics on a project studying genes involved in neural tube defects, including spina bifida and hydrocephalus.