Principal Investigator

Co-Principal Investigator


José Lasalde-Dominicci Ph.D.


Dr. José A. Lasalde Dominicci is the Program Director of the COBRE Center for Neuroplasticity at the University of Puerto Rico and a Professor of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. His research is focused on: (1) the structure function relationships of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), (2), the role of lipid-protein interaction on nAChRs function, (3) the question of how genetically abnormal ion channels give rise to neurodegeneration, (4) studies towards a high-resolution structure of the Torpedo californica nAChR and α7-nAChRs, and more recently (5) the regulation of neuronal nAChRs in HIV pathogenesis.

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Abel Baerga-Ortíz Ph.D.


Dr. Abel Baerga Ortiz is interested in describing biochemical processes that take place at the interface between chemistry and microbiology. We use a variety of chemical methods for the characterization of natural products made by microorganisms. We also use biochemical methods (protein expression/purification and mass spectrometry) to elucidate enzyme processes in microorganisms.
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Manuel Delgado-Vélez Ph.D.

Project Manager

As a project manager, I have been in charge of the implementation of the quality control aspects as well as the strategies to increase the titers of the HIV vaccine that we are developing. I have also supervised the startup of the Clinical Bioreagent Center, a center dedicated to the analysis and characterization of HIV vaccine candidates.
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Pearl Akamine Ph.D.


Pearl Akamine is integral in the development of key analytical methods to characterize the sugars and their effects on a biological product. All quality analysis methods are developed so they can be readily transferred from the research bench to a compliant environment. Her experience draws from her training in protein crystallography, which provides a unique molecular perspective to vaccine development. Her doctorate in Biochemistry is from the University of California, San Diego and her postdoctoral studies were performed at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England.
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José González-Feliciano Ph.D.


Experienced Scientist with a demonstrated history of working in research and development. Skilled in RP-HPLC, isoelectric focusing, mass spectrometry, mammalian cell culture, protein purification and cGMP practices. Demonstrated experience in building collaborations with internal/external investigators in the area of biosensors, HIV vaccine design, nanotechnology, bone tissue regeneration, drug delivery, and RNA biology.
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Ignacio Pino

CEO and co-founder of CDI LABS

Dr. Ignacio Pino is CEO and co-founder of CDI LABS. CDI was created in 2007 with the aim to further develop, optimize and commercialize biochip technology invented at Johns Hopkins University. The technology displays more than 80% of the human body’s building blocks, its proteins, on a microscope slide. Since then Ignacio has been instrumental on adding additional complementary technologies to the CDI LABS toolbox including additional proteomic libraries of human and viral antigens. Ignacio has focused the company’s core competencies in two areas: immune-biomarker discovery & translation; and ultra-precise monoclonal antibody development and manufacturing. The focus in this areas have enabled CDI LABS team to become experts at protein production in various expression systems, antibody characterization and assay development.
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Daniel Eichinger

Chief Scientific Officer
CDI Laboratories, Inc.

Experienced senior investigator with 25 years of experience running an academic research laboratory and 6 years overseeing R&D efforts at a small biotech company. Experienced in research finances, personnel management, academic administration, biomedical experiment design, grant writing, personnel training, cell culture, monoclonal antibody generation, immune-assay development.
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Gloriner Morell-Rodríguez

Cell Culture Specialist

Extensive undergraduate training in various aspects of microbiology, with an emphasis on mycology. She is experienced in methods of mycological identification and culture. Since 2012, she have been an ascending research technician at CDI Laboratories. She have experience with both short and long-term mammalian cell culture methods, including hybridoma development and antibody analysis using protein microarrays, as well as optimization of CHO cell culture viability, longevity, and recombinant protein production via metabolite analysis and bioreactor parameter management.
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Ruth Almodovar

Lead Protein Production Scientist
CDI Laboratories Inc.

Lead production scientist with over 12 years of experience in research and development. Broadly experienced in recombinant protein production and purification: high-throughput, small and large scale protein production from yeast, bacteria and mammalian cell expression systems, mammalian cell culture improvement, bioreactor parameter optimization, protein-protein interactions and spectrophotometry. Familiar with cGMP practices, and has demonstrated expertise in tech transfer and implementation of antigen production pipeline.
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