Jonathan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology program, with a focus on Genetics and Gene Regulation. He joined the Penn Science Diplomacy group because of his interest in fostering relationships between scientists and policy makers in different parts of the world. He is especially interested in promoting scientific communications and collaborations between labs in the United States and Cuba. He hopes that such collaborations will help scientists in both countries to learn from and support one another, and that they will support the improving relations between the two countries.
Jonathan’s interest in bridging cultures stems from his desire to connect with his Cuban heritage: his maternal grandparents having immigrated to the United States from Cuba. This desire to connect with his Cuban heritage has driven him to learn Spanish by completing a minor in Spanish during his undergraduate work and studying for a semester in Seville, Spain.
Jonathan earned his B.S. in Biology at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina, with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. He earned his M.S. in Biology at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, where, in the lab of Dr. Angela DiBenedetto, he developed a transgenic line of zebrafish that inducibly express the gene brd2a in the central nervous system. For his Ph.D., Jonathan is working in the lab of Dr. John Murray, where he is studying the regulation of putative opposite Wnt target genes in the C. elegans embryo.