Dr. Alexis Tapanes-Castillo obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Cornell University, Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Sloan-Kettering Institute. She is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at the College of Health Sciences and Technology at St. Thomas University, a minority-serving institution in her hometown Miami-Dade, Florida. She teaches undergraduate and graduate biology courses and laboratories, and she participates in numerous STEM education outreach activities for grade school students and teachers. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo’s research program integrates cell biology, molecular biology, and genomics. She collaborates with faculty at St. Thomas University to screen chemical extracts prepared from medicinal plants for anticancer properties. She has also partnered with Galatea Bio, a local biotech startup, to expand human genomics data from diverse populations for precision medicine. Dr. Tapanes-Castillo has used several model systems and interdisciplinary techniques throughout her research career including Drosophila fruit flies, mice, zebrafish, adult human stem cells to study autism biology, and computer science tools for data analysis, bioinformatics, protein modeling, and gene expression studies.