Profile of presenters:
Alicia Chong Rodriguez is the CEO at Bloomer Tech. She graduated from the MIT Electrical Engineering & Computer Science program and MIT IDM, where her research focused on sex-specific, computationally-generated, cardiac biomarkers at the MIT Computational Cardiovascular Research Group. She received the MIT Legatum Fellowship and the MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Award. She has also been recognized as a 2021 TED Fellow, 2018 Medtech Boston 40 under 40 Healthcare Innovator, and in the top 100 Female Founders across the U.S. by Inc Magazine. Prior to MIT she worked in the semiconductor industry at companies such as HP and Teradyne and co-founded MenTe en Acción (Mujeres en Tecnología) where she currently serves on the board as a technical advisor.
M.Sc. Cauffman has served in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for more than 30 years. Since 2016 she has served as the Deputy Director (Vice Director) of the Earth Sciences Division, in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. From February 2019 to June 2020, she served as Interim Director of said Division. She is responsible for executive leadership, strategic direction and general administration for the entire multi-billion-dollar (~ $ 2B) Earth Science portfolio of the agency, from technology development, applied science, research, implementation and operation of space missions.
M.Sc. Cauffman has been awarded the NASA Outstanding Achievement Medal, twice the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and has won the NASA Acquisition Enhancement Award four times. She is a Senior Fellow on the Council for Excellence in Government (CEG).
Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar is a Costa Rican Microbiologist with a PhD in Virology from the Humboldt University in Berlin. Dr. Corrales is the Coordinator of the Virology in the Tropical Diseases Research Center (CIET) from the Faculty of Microbiology at the University of Costa Rica. Prior experience regarding viral diseases such as herpesviruses and immune evasion, tropicalized herself after returning in 2010 to Costa Rica after her PhD and PostDoc studies. With vast experience on topics of vector-borne diseases, including dengue field surveys of wildlife such as bats, the study of the human immune response against arboviruses and molecular epidemiology of human dengue and other arboviruses have been her main topics of interest.
Dr. Melania Guerra graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Costa Rica and obtained a Master’s and Doctorate in Oceanography from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), specializing in the Arctic Ocean. She has been trained in international law and governance of the sea as a Fellow at the United Nations and is part of the Costa Rican delegation in climate change negotiations before the COP. She recently completed a Master of Public Policy at Princeton University and is an adjunct professor at the United Nations University for Peace.
Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary in Canada. She received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Universidad de Costa Rica, and later received MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Alberta. Following her postdoctoral training at the University of British Columbia, she joined the departments of Physiology, Pharmacology and Pediatrics of the University of Calgary.
Her research studies how the millions of microbes that inhabit an infant’s gut (the gut microbiome) contribute to human health or disease.
Dr. Andrea Vincent is a professor at the School of Biology – University of Costa Rica. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge in the UK and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and postdoctoral work experience in the Swedish arctic and the boreal forest. Her current research focuses on understanding the impacts of warming and altered biogeochemical cycles on the functioning of Costa Rican ecosystems.
María Chaves is an Industrial Chemist by profession, Master in Management and Environmental Studies from the National University in Costa Rica, she is a graduate of the Program: Wastewater Treatment. Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico.