News and Events

Congratulations Dr. Roy!

Grant Number: 1R01AI147731-01A1
Project Title: A targeted anti-HIV drug delivery to the GALT
Project Period: 07/16/2020 – 06/30/2025
Award:$3.3 Million
Sponsor/Agency: NIAID, NIH

UTRGV receives federal grant to provide scholarships for students aspiring to become clinical laboratory scientists

Monday, July 13, 2020 -By Letty Fernandez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV has been awarded a $1.15 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to help provide scholarships to aspiring students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.

UTRGV will receive $230,000 per year for five years from the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program. The funding will help support the UTRGV Clinical Laboratory Science Program (CLS) in its efforts to actively recruit talented students interested in the CLS profession.

Read the full article here. 

Journeys begin - Valley Morning Star

Travis Whitehead - June 1, 2020 - Harlingen

It’s the life they’ve dreamed of and the reality for which they’ve yearned.

And now, four graduates from the Harlingen School of Health Professions will take ownership of that reality. They’re about to begin their journeys toward medical professions as students in the new biomedical sciences program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“I feel pretty excited because I know I’m going to be surrounded by people who can motivate me in different ways and challenge me,” said Diana Silva, 19, who would like to study women’s health.

She and her three classmates, Cesar Ruiz, 18, Adrian Garcia, 18, and Karla Galvan, 17, are the inaugural students in the new medical pipeline between high school and the UTRGV School of Medicine.

Read the full artlice here.

UTRGV celebrates Class of 2020 with one-of-a-kind ceremony

Briana 2020

Briana Cortez, a Brownsville resident who was chosen to serve as the first Virtual Commencement Bell Ringer, poses in her front yard with special congratulatory signage her parents surprised her with to celebrate earning her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Biology from UTRGV. She celebrated her summa cum laude honors with a morning, socially distanced watch party with her family. (Courtesy Photo)

May 30,2020- RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – COVID-19 may have crashed the in-person graduation ceremonies for UTRGV, but that did not stop the university from celebrating Saturday morning with its more than 3,000 Spring 2020 graduates, during its first ever Virtual Commencement event.

UTRGV’s Class of 2020 will forever be a one-of-a-kind class that deserves a distinct virtual event to celebrate this major milestone – even if it meant watching from the comfort of their own homes with their family and loved ones. 

Read the full article here.

The Latino Medical Student Association at UT Health San Antonio Mock & Talk Application Workshop 

The Latino Medical Student Association at UT Health San Antonio is proud to announce that we will be hosting our second Mock & Talk Application Workshop on Friday, June 5th, 2020.

This is a free, virtual event developed with support from the Dean of Admissions and Admissions Committee at the Long School of Medicine to help all pre-med students, including those from diverse backgrounds, improve their applications and better prepare for their interviews. During the event, students will have the opportunity to:

  1. Have their Personal Statement reviewed
  2. Engage in 2 Mock Interviews (one recorded, and one live) with feedback
  3. Join an Application Workshop with a Q&A session

This is a great event and an amazing opportunity for pre-med students to prepare for the upcoming medical school interview season! Registration is limited so don’t hesitate to sign up! 

For questions, contact us at

Use the link below to sign up. Hope to see you there!\

COVID-19 Student Action Fund

CGI U launched the COVID-19 Student Action Fund on April 18, 2020 at the CGI U At Home virtual event hosted by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. This fund will identify and support select students at universities around the world who are committed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Working within the CGI U Commitment to Action model, this fund will provide at least $100,000 in total funding to students, with each grant awarded ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. This action fund is geared towards projects addressing the public health, economic, and societal impacts of the novel coronavirus — with commitments ranging from awareness and prevention campaigns, to social enterprises, to infectious disease monitoring and response systems, to other emergency response initiatives that are providing immediate support for public health practitioners and other essential workers on the frontlines.

In addition to receiving seed funding for their commitments, all selected students will receive invitations to participate in the CGI U 2021 program, including an invitation to attend the CGI U 2021 annual event at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland from April 9-11, 2021.

With special thanks to our supporters: Founding Partner, Kevin Xu, and our CGI University Network.

All applications must be submitted by 11:59PM ET on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.


Brownsville native fulfills childhood dream to become a medical doctor

Ramiro Tovar

Photo credit: David Pike

Ramiro Tovar, from Brownsville, is about to make history as a graduate of the UTRGV School of Medicine’s inaugural Class of 2020.

Friday, May 8, 2020
By Letty Fernandez

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – As a young boy growing up in Brownsville, Ramiro Tovar knew early on that medicine was his future. 

He saw his mother’s unfulfilled passion to become a doctor, and he watched a doctor step in to save his beloved aunt, who was on her deathbed.

“She got another 16 years of life.” Tovar said. “As a kid, you see this. I wanted to be like that doctor – and that is one of the things that pushed me toward medicine. That, and the drive my mom had for it.” 

Now 26, Tovar is about to make history as a graduate of the UTRGV School of Medicine’s inaugural Class of 2020.

On Saturday, May 9, the School of Medicine will honor 39 graduating medical students in a special virtual ceremony that follows the rules for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will participate from their homes across the country, and hear their names called to receive their degrees virtually.

Read the full article of Ramiro's success here

The Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Department of Molecular and Human Genetics invites students to the CGG (Careers in Genetics and Genomics) Virtual Summer Program. We encourage college students interested in Genetics and Genomics careers to attend one of our summer sessions. Genetics and genomics clinicians, researchers, and trainees will share career and interests in these areas.

Please register follow the link below to register and join us at  11:00 am CST on  June 11th, July 9th, or August 13th, 2020. Please share! The Zoom invite is below.



Zoom invite:

Dr. Murray is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Careers in Genetics and Genomics Program

Time: This is a recurring meeting

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Password: 349516
Or iPhone one-tap: 4086380968,96693773971#
Or Telephone:
In Houston:  713-798-9666

+1 346 248 7799 (US Toll)

+1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)

+1 253 215 8782 (US Toll)

+1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)

+1 301 715 8592 (US Toll)

+1 312 626 6799 (US Toll)

877 369 0926 (US Toll Free)

Meeting ID: 966 9377 3971

Password: 349516


Congratulations to Dr. Upal Roy for being awarded $25000 for the 2020-21 by the NIH funded RGV AD-RCMAR - Pilot Studies Program.

Upal Roy

Project title: The Genetic Basis of Alzheimer Disease (AD) in Hispanic Americans affected by Type-2 Diabetes (T2D). 

Hispanics (e.g., Mexicans/Mexican Americans) are the fastest-growing population in the USA. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 12% of the older adults in the Hispanic population are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) which is the highest proportion among different other ethnic groups in the USA. In addition, according to Texas State Health Services, Hispanic in Rio Grande Valley (RGV) are at a 30.7 % higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D) compared to the national average of 12.3 %. Despite the large body of epidemiological evidence linking AD with T2D, the precise underlying molecular mechanism is largely unknown. Since the Hispanic population is at significant risk of developing T2D at a younger age, it is crucial to develop a detection method of AD early on in order to provide necessary care to these patients. We propose to study microRNA (miRNA) markers of AD along with T2D in Hispanics, to develop blood biomarkers that would help in detecting AD early in T2D patients.


Dr. Chew

Funding Agency: National Institute of Health (NIH) Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Research Continuance Award (SC3)
Collaborators: Dr. Shizue Mito, Dr. Saraswathy Nair and Dr. Kristina Vatcheva from UTRGV and Dr. Bin He from Houston Methodist
Period: 03/16/2020 to 02/29/2024
Total costs: $435,900
Project title: Local dual delivery of a chemotherapy and an anti-angiogenic agent from an injectable functionalized biodegradable biomaterial system for the treatment of glioma

International Woman's Day March 8, 2020

Paola Vidal, a senior BMED student has been awarded the Outstanding female international student scholarship of $1000 in celebration of International Women’s Day

Paola Vidal  Paola Vidal award  international womans day  Vidal and Dr. Rodriguez  International Woman's Day banquet  Women

LEAP: Learn about diversity. Empower yourself and others. Advance initiatives. Promote inclusion.


Save the Date
Brownsville Dates: Edinburg Dates:

Friday, February 28
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
BINAB 1.204

Saturday, February 29
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
ESTAC 1.112

Friday, March 20
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
BINAB 1.204

Saturday, March 21
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
ESTAC 1.112


Become an official LEAP Educator by attending! 

Workshops open to students, faculty, and staff; all workshops designed primarily for students.  Food will be provided. Please communicate allergy or food restrictions to email below.

Future sessions will be provided.

For questions or to request additional information or accommodations, please contact the Center for Diversity & Inclusion and DREAM Resource Center at

2020 Diversity Admissions Symposium April 18

The Diversity Admissions Symposium provides assistance to accomplished undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who have traditionally been underrepresented in medicine and science and are interested in applying to our medical, health professions or graduate biomedical sciences schools. In addition, selected attendees will be given an opportunity to participate in a mock interview with faculty and staff experienced with the admissions process.  

Learn more about the Symposium and Apply today!

This free* event is a collaboration between the Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and leaders from the Student National Medical Association, Latino Medical Student Association, American Medical Women's Association, BCM Pride, BCM Spectrum, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) at BCM and Association of Graduate Student Diversity.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 Diversity Admissions Symposium is March 15, 2020.  

* The only expense attendees will need to cover is the TMC parking garage daily rate.

School of Medicine LMHS Research Symposium February 2020

LMHS winners

Congratulations to Carlos Arroyo got first place (current Junior) & Alyssa Canales got second place (current sophomore).


Coffee with a PA

The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Southwest Regional Conference - February 14-16, 2020

LMSA conference flyer

Identidad Latina 
"Soy más que..."

Join us for: Who's Invited
  • Keynote Speakers & Workshops
  • Research Symposium
  • Exhibitor Fair & Networking Mixers
  • Regional Officer Elections
  • Gala Dinner & Award Ceremony
  • Medical, Osteopathic
  • Allied Health Students
  • Graduate Students 
  • Pre-Meds
  • High School Students
  • Healthcare Professionals
LMSA 2020 Call for abstracts

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

UTRGV School of Medicine Area Health Education Center (AHEC) 

The AHEC Scholars Program will prepare students in health-related professions to work in rural and medically underserved areas. Students who complete the program will be culturally competent, aware of the impacts of health disparities and the social determinants of health. AHEC Scholars will learn how to work effectively in inter-disciplinary collaborative teams on behalf of the community.

The AHEC Scholars program will not provide stipends to undergraduate students, although they may apply to be AHEC volunteers and gain valuable service and interprofessional experiences in rural health settings. Only graduate and undergraduate or technical programs that result in certification/licensing are eligible for the AHEC scholar stipends.

AHEC Scholars Program Application 2020

Career Seminar 

Date: Feb 7th, 10-11 am

The locations are :
BMAIN 1.502  (147 seats)
EHABW 2.108 (48 seats) 

The speakers from SPH are as follows: 

Dr. Blanca I. Restrepo, Ph.D.
Title: Opportunities in a Public Health Career – and a perspective from field studies 
Description: Dr. Blanca I. Restrepo, Ph.D. is a faculty member of the UT Health Houston, School of Public Health in Brownsville.  She will be providing an introduction to: i) What lead her to the field of public health?  ii) her research focus and an example of how her field research studies in tuberculosis, diabetes and old age contribute to public health knowledge. And, iv) international public health efforts - challenges and benefits of border research

Dr. Miryoung Lee, Ph.D.
Title: Opportunities in a Public Health Career – an epidemiologist’s experience in Academia
Description: Dr. Miryoung Lee, Ph.D. is a faculty member of the UT Health Houston, School of Public Health in Brownsville.  She will be providing an introduction to: i) her academic journey from South Korea to the US, ii) examples of her research studies in obesity, aging (telomere biology) and cardiometabolic diseases, and iii) collaborative research opportunities in various research fields. 

3rd Annual Aging Healthy RGV

Friday, January 31, 2020
8:00AM - 3:00PM
Brownsville Event Center

3rd Annual Aging Healthy RGV3rd Annual Aging Healthy RGV

We need around 15 volunteers for the 3rd Annual Aging Healthy RGV from 7:30am to 1:00pm this Friday January 31, 2020. If you are looking for a meaningful community service to add to your CV/portfolio/Resume this is a great opportunity. Students in BMED Scholars, BSA, L2S, T4A, and for BMED students that will like to be a BMED Scholars.

Please contact me ASAP by e-mail

UTRGV students share science knowledge with children at museum event

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – While many UTRGV students volunteered Jan. 20 for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, community stewardship for many spans the entire year at a variety of events and with service-learning projects. 

“UTRGV has been really good about giving so many opportunities here in the community,” said Viviana Quintero, a UTRGV senior biomedical science major from Brownsville and one of the students who presented last semester at the Microbiology Day event at the Children's Museum of Brownsville.

“It’s a way of giving back, so that’s something I truly liked,” she said.

As part of a course led by UTRGV assistant professor Dr. Upal Roy, Quintero’s group spoke to children about bacteria named pseudomonas.

“What we are focusing on is how it affects the population here in Brownsville and in the Rio Grande Valley,” she said.

Other students at the event spoke to families about avoiding germs and cleaning a wound.

Read the full article and the video here.

Inclusivity in sustainability education

Sustainability is improving human and environmental wellbeing both now and into the future.  Sustainability as an academic field of study is relatively new and methods for teaching transformative sustainability are still being developed.  Just as the definition of sustainability includes improving human wellbeing, the way that we educate for sustainability should be grounded in inclusivity.  I am seeking a graduate student to conduct research that evaluates best practices for inclusivity in sustainability education.

I am looking for a student to start in Fall 2020 (a start date in the summer is also possible) in the sustainability graduate program at the University of South Dakota.  The research will be in collaboration with USD’s Inclusive Science Initiative.  I encourage students with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.  Two years of funding at $20,000/year is secured.

Interested applicants should e-mail me ( with any questions or with a statement of research interests and experience.

College of Health Professions, School of Social Work & School of Nursing Information Session

Edinburg Campus 
Thursday, January 30, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
ESTAC 1.112
Brownsville Campus
Thursday, March 5, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sabal Hall - BSABH 1.108

Information session

The 3+4 Dental Early Acceptance Program (DEAP) application is now open!

This is a great opportunity for those who are planning to pursue a career in the dental field. Our internal deadline to apply is February 21st, 2020.

3+4 Dental Program

NEW Leadership Texas 

NEW Leadership Texas is scheduled for June 7-12, 2020

If you are interested in having a greater representation of women in elected office and/or are considering a career in politics, policymaking, or public service, you should apply to this weeklong residential summer institute.

NEW Leadership™ Texas is a national non-partisan program developed to address the underrepresentation of women in American politics. NEW Leadership™ Texas educates college women about the important role that politics plays in their lives and encourages them to become effective leaders in the political arena.

Who should apply?

▪ Undergraduate women enrolled in any Texas college or university for 2019-2020, or are graduating in May 2020;
▪ Texas residents attending out-of-state schools;
▪ All majors are welcome;
▪ Women of color and non-traditional students are encouraged to apply.

Whether or not you think you want to run for elected office, if you would like to create positive change in your community, YOU SHOULD APPLY!

Approximately 35 undergraduates representing a variety of universities, majors, class years, ethnicities, geographic locations, economic, and personal backgrounds will be selected to participate.

Learn more about NEW Leadership Texas and Apply Today!

Spring Break 2020 in Mexico City

Spring Break 2020

Healthy and 'Heart'-y Holiday with Lisa Salinas, PhD and Deepu George, PhD

How does a heart-y quinoa salad sound to accompany your Thanksgiving dinner? We had two special guests prepare a delicious protein-filled dish and discuss ways to start off the year on a positive note.

Lisa Salinas, Ph.D., from the College of Health Professions, prepared a delicious quinoa salad while discussing 3 ways to improve mental health with Dr. Deepu George, from our Behavioral Health department at UT Health RGV.

Recipe Link:

National Conference on Undergraduate Research on March 26-28, 2020 at Montana State University.

NCUR - the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research - have been the premier national conferences devoted exclusively to undergraduate student research and creativity in all disciplines for 34 years. Montana State University is proud to host NCUR 2020.

Deadline for abstract submission is: December 6, 2019 at

The Pre PA Society - Brownsville Chapter will be hosting a Suture Workshop

The Suture workshop will be proctored and instructed by Alicia Flores, PA-C who works in emergency medicine. She has six years of work experience in an ER and has offered to be the instructor of our event!

The workshop will be held on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 from 9:00 - 11:00 AM in BLHSB 1.316. There are only 30 seats available so register ASAP to guarantee a spot!

Suture Workshop

The Biomedical Sciences Association is hosting a Thanksgiving Potluck at the Edinburg campus.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 6:00PM

BSA Thanksgiving Potluck

Biomedical Sciences Association presents:
How to Get Into Professional School Panel

BSA Panel

Third Session of the workshop series, Moving Up/ Resilience:

Professionalism and Communication/ Biodanza. (Nov 6, Fall 2019)

The goal in developing activities  to create a positive, professional learning environment that help students  to build professionalism ,Integrating student professionalism activities, students must practice professional behavior during class to prepare for entering the workforce.

Dr. Saraswathy Nair, Dr. Andrea Schwarzbach, Dr.  Tracey Forman ,  Dr. Hugo Rodriguez. Biodanza Facilitator Alda Enna de la Garza. (Facilitator Dr. Castaneda)

Resilience workshop group    Resilience workshop group hands    Resilience workshop group biodanza    Resilience workshop group    Resilience workshop group exercise    Resilience workshop boys working    Resilience workshop girls    Resilience workshop Tracia Forman    Resilience workshop w/ Dr. Rodriguez    Resilience workshop with Hugo Rodriguez    Resilience workshop group    Resilience workshop guys

  Graduate & Professional School Fair

The Career Center will be having the Graduate and Professional School Fair in Brownsville at the Gran Salon on Wednesday, October 30th from 10:00AM-2:00PM and in Edinburg at the University Ballroom on Tuesday, October 29 from 10:00AM-2:00PM.

Recruiters from Healthcare/Medical Schools, Law Schools, and Graduate Programs will be at the event, among them are:  Click here to see all recruiting institutions. 

Business casual attire is recommended for the students and it is also recommended that they take a copy of their most recent CV/ Resume. They can stop by our office anytime from 8AM-5PM from Monday -  Friday to get their CV/ Resume revised.

Attention BMED Students:
Dr. Shadding, Associate Dean The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will be at UTRGV Grad and Professional School Fair on Wednesday in Brownsville. She would like to speak to our BMED students about their graduate programs which include nine PhD programs in the biomedical sciences, three Masters programs  (includes the oldest genetic counseling program in Texas), and an MD/PhD program as well as numerous summer research opportunities She would like to present about student options in the sciences and how to prepare for success.

PhD applications are open, and the deadline is Dec. 1 – learn more here:

See what their students and faculty love about their school in this short video clip -

To learn more about the programs under GSBS visit  here:

Free Diagnostic Proctored MCAT Exam

This is a free MCAT practice test that will take place on   October 30 th  at 6 PM in SABH 1.104.

After completing the test, students will receive a full score report with performance analysis and detailed explanations of each question. This test helps the students to understand their weaknesses and strengthens, practice interrelation of subjects, prepare an efficient study plan, and to become more confident with the MCAT format. This will be a great opportunity for all “pre-med” students regardless of their undergraduate level.

Please RSVP by contacting the Department of Health & Biomedical Sciences office and take advantage of this event!

UTRGV School of Medicine announces Vaqueros MD, early-assurance pre-med program

EDINBURG, TEXAS – OCT. 21, 2019 –  The UTRGV School of Medicine, in partnership with the Honors College, has announced a new early-assurance, pre-med program for high school students throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Vaqueros MD, designed to increase the number of high-achieving high school students who enroll and complete their medical education close to home, will be available for select students starting Nov. 1. See the full article in here.

Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators (AHSIE)

The Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators will be awarding several scholarships for students to attend the 12th Annual 2019 AHSIE Best Practices Conference. Scholarship categories include: associate’s level, bachelor’s level, and graduate/doctoral levels.

We are pleased to be partnering with Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as the co-host of this year’s conference, which will take place at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston, Florida from March 8-11, 2020.

Recipients will be selected based on the eligibility requirements and criteria as detailed

  • First-Generation college student
  • Attend an HSI in U.S. or Puerto Rico
  • Enrolled full-time in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
  • Pell-eligible (undergraduate applicants only)
  • Undocumented students are eligible to apply
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completed application (including 3 imbedded short essays)
  • Scholarship recipients must attend the AHSIE Conference

The ideal candidate will demonstrate not only academic achievement, but also the potential for leadership and contribution to the community. By attending this conference, we hope to provide students the ability to broaden experiences, develop networks and foster mentorship possibilities with HSI designated campus professionals.

The award package includes cash scholarship, conference registration, round trip airfare and lodging and recipients will be honored at the AHSIE Conference.

Deadline to apply is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2019, 5:00 p.m. PST.

Review the Scholarship Guidelines and complete the online application at

The Biomedical Sciences Association will be hosting an event

Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 
Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm.
Location: Sabal Hall 1.104 

Guest speaker, Dr. Romona Rogers who is a practicing psychiatrist come and speak to the students.
Dr. Rogers will be talking about her journey into the psychiatric field. She will be answering common questions about her speciality and discussing how you can turn your passion into your future career. 


Time Management refers to making the best use of time as time is always limited. This workshop promotes BMED students how to get skills to organize their time management when they are  college, and get  the most out of their  experience in the academic year.

Dr. Sue Ann Chew, Dr. Andrea Schwarzbach, exercise Instructor Ricardo Parra, Facilitators (Dr. Castaneda, Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. Lorena Lopez)

time management workshop healthy food 1    time management workshop 2   

time management workshop group 3    time management workshop students 4   

time management workshop student work 5    time management workshop working together 6   

time management workshop students working together 7    time management workshop puzzle 8   

time management workshop girls 9    time management workshop V 10

FAFSA Application is now Available.

The 2020-21 FAFSA is now available.
NOW is the time to complete their FAFSA. Students can log on to to get started and January 15 is the priority deadline.

UTRGV awards over $250 million annually in financial aid and we are proud to have the largest Texas Grant allocation in the state. To determine eligibility for UTRGV Tuition Advantage and all available financial aid, students will need to submit a FAFSA.

Stop by U Central if assistance is needed with completing the FAFSA. 

U Central Locations:
Brownsville: The Tower
Edinburg: Student Services Bldg-First Floor
U Central Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday-8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday-8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday-8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information or questions, please visit or call (956) 882-4026

Center for Teaching Excellence - Faculty Spotlight on Teaching

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is pleased to announce the Faculty Spotlight on Teaching. The purpose of the  Faculty Spotlight on Teaching  is to highlight UTRGV faculty members’ teaching effectiveness. CTE will select a faculty member each month who will (1) participate in an interview about teaching, (2) write a narrative to teaching-related questions, and (3) deliver two workshops or studio sessions on a topic of their choice. These workshops will provide participants with opportunities to learn about best practices and techniques from distinguished UTRGV teachers.

Sue Anne Chew

Sue Anne Chew - September 2019

Fall 2019 Career Expo

The Fall Career Expo in collaboration with HESTEC attracts large organizations from across the nation looking to hire students for internships, full-time positions  and  careers. Employers who have recruited in the past include national and regional employers: PepsiCo, Toyota, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Valley Baptist Health Systems, and IBM.

This event is open to students, alumni and the public.  All majors welcomed! 

Brownsville Campus / Wed. Oct. 2, 2019 / 10am - 2pm/ El Gran Salon List of Companies Recruiting

Edinburg Campus/ Fri. Oct. 4, 2019 / 10am - 3pm/ University Fieldhouse List of Companies Recruiting


Wellness Wednesday Wellness Wednesday
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 2 nd, 12 – 2 pm
Location: Recreation Center
Join us for our Wellness Wednesday event on Wednesday, October 2 nd from 12-2 pm in the Multipurpose Room. We will offer FREE blood pressure, height and weight, body fat, flexibility, and blood sugar screenings. The event is open to all TSC and UTRGV community!
Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Seminar
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 9 th, 12 – 1 pm
Location: Recreation Center Lobby
Join us on Wednesday, October 9 from 12 – 1pm in the Recreation Center Lobby with our special guest, JoAnn Martinez. JoAnn is a HEB dietitian that will demonstrate how to prepare a Yogurt Parfait for when the craving kicks in. Limited to 50 seats on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure to be here early!
Running 101 Running 101 Seminar
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 16 th, 12 – 1 pm
Location: Recreation Center Lobby
Join us, Wednesday, October 16 from 12 – 1pm in the Lobby with our special guest, Jason Reinhardt. Jason is a renowned Iron Man competitor that will demonstrate you how to properly prepare for a race! Limited to 30 seats on a first come first serve basis!


UTRGV School of Medicine Research Symposium 2019

SOM Research symposium

September 13-14, 2019, our own Aaron Carrillo won Best Undergraduate Poster and delivered a Flash talk at the event. In addition, Maria Martin and Ileana Mendoza won the “People’s Choice Award” for their poster as well!

BMED swept the undergrad awards!  

DoD SMART Scholarship for Service Program

The Department of Defense (DoD) SMART Scholarship Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in STEM disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed by the Department of Defense upon degree completion. Watch this video to learn more.

SMART Scholars will receive:

  • A full tuition scholarship while in school
  • An annual stipend
  • Summer research internships
  • A job after graduating in their STEM field at a cutting edge Department of Defense Facility

Applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States (some exceptions apply)
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be pursuing a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the 21 specified STEM disciplines

Visit or read the information flyer to learn more and apply today!

The Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference (CTURC) 2019

CTURC 2019

Read the CTURC information flyer to lean more. 

Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) 2019

JAMP 2019

Application Deadline: September 23, 2019

BLHSB 2.822 | | 956-882-5059

Providing Free Quality Medical Brigades to the Rio Grande Valley

First General Meeting
Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
BLHSB 1.410 Brownsville Campus


For more information contact:
Follow on Facebook Instagram @PROJECTSMILE18

BMED Induction Ceremony 2019

Incoming BMED students receive their white coats at the 2019 BMED Induction Ceremony.

BMED White coat ceremony group     BMED White coat ceremony students     BMED White coat ceremony students     BMED White coat ceremony students     BMED White coat ceremony     BMED White coat ceremony students     BMED White coat ceremony students     BMED White coat ceremony students     BMED White coat ceremony students

BMED Induction Ceremony 2019 Photo Album


Time for all sessions is 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Room: BMAIN 2.402 (Cassia Room)
Students need to register a week before the date of the session in the BMED office.

This workshop includes a component of Biodanza during sessions.
Biodanza is a world-wide transformational movement practice that integrates music, movement and authentic connections to expand our capacity to live in the present. Using engaging music from around the world, a weekly practice cultivates joy and aliveness, enriches our relationships, and ignites creative expression.
Biodanza Certified Facilitator: Lic. Alda Enna De la Garza.    

First Session

Designed to promote positive coping skills. Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done, Gratitude journal promotes enthusiasm and help BMED students to deal with stress, ways to reduce and manage stress, Biodanza,how music and movements cultivate joy and aliveness.

Instructors:    Dr. Castaneda: Positive Thinking, Mrs. Sally Roach: Dealing and manage stress,Lic. Alda Enna de la Garza, Biodanza in life. Biodanza facilitator Lic. Alda Enna de la Garza. (Facilitator Dr. Rodriguez)

Second Session

Time Management refers to making the best use of time as time is always limited. This workshop promotes Bmed students how to get skills to organize their time management when they are college and get the most out of their experience in the academic year.

Dr. Sue Ann Chew, Dr. Andrea Schwarzbach, exercise Instructor Ricardo Parra, Facilitators (Dr. Castaneda, Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. Lorena Lopez)

Third Session

The goal in developing activities  to create a positive, professional learning environment that help students  to build professionalism ,Integrating student professionalism activities, students must practice professional behavior during class to prepare for entering the workforce.

Dr. Saraswathy Nair, Dr. Andrea Schwarzbach, Dr.  Tracey Forman ,  Dr. Hugo Rodriguez. Biodanza Facilitator Alda Enna de la Garza. (Facilitator Dr. Castaneda)

BMED Summer Student Success Academy 2019

2019 Student Success Academy 2    2019 Student Success Academy    2019 Student Success Academy 3    2019 Student Success Academy 4    2019 Student Success Academy 5    2019 Student Success Academy 6    2019 Student Success Academy 7    2019 Student Success Academy 8

BMED Summer Student Success 2019 Photo Album

Volunteers Around the World in Peru 2019

Our non-governmental organization is dedicated to provide free medication, and medical care to locals in Albania, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, etc.

This organization will be of great help, as it will not only aid our BMED students gain necessary skills for their future but those who are in need. The goal is to raise the amount of money needed to cover all expenses and medications that will be taken to a third world country. This Summer 2019 they visited Peru.

Peru 2019 -group    Peru 2019 -kids    Peru 2019 - kid    Peru 2019 - blood pressure    Peru 2019 clinic 1    Peru 2019 clinic 2    Peru 2019 clinic 3    Peru 2019 clinic 4    Peru 2019 clinic 5    Peru 2019 clinic 254    Peru 2019 clinic 6    Peru 2019 clinic 7    Peru 2019 clinic 478    Peru 2019 Roman w/kid    Peru 2019 clinic 8    Peru 2019 clinic 9    Peru 2019 child    Peru 2019 clinic 11 

See more photos from their visit to Peru here.

Congratulations BMED Spring 2019 Graduates!

The BMED Spring 2019 Graduation Celebration

Spring 2019 cake    Spring 2019 bmed group    Spring 2019 bmed group 2    Spring 2019 faculty group 1    Spring 2019 faculty group 2    Spring 2019 presentation    Spring 2019 faculty   Spring 2019 graduates awards    Spring 2019 faculty    Spring 2019 graduates good luck 

Spring 2019 BMED Graduation Celebration photo album

Congratulations Dr. Chew!

Two UTRGV faculty members named recipients of UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards

Dr. Chew

Photo credit: David Pike
Hyun-chul Lee, Ph.D., lecturer III, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Sciences | Sue Anne Chew, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences, College of Health Professions

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JULY 1, 2019  – Two UTRGV faculty members from the College of Health Professions and College of Sciences have been honored with one of the highest and most prestigious awards in the nation that recognizes teaching excellence –  the 2019 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Congratulations to Ms. Kim Garcia and Dr. Zasha Romero representing MSHS and Kinesiology Online graduate programs and be recognized at the Graduate Coordinator Summit this June 2019! Respective ranking for the two programs are #14 and #8 in the nation. MSHS also revived an enrollment achievement recognition from the Graduate School.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Rachel Villarreal is Making Headlines in the News for healthy eating lifestyles

Rachel Villarreal

Elsa Cavazos/Valley Morning Star UTRGV Clinical Assistant Professor Rachel Villarreal explains portion control.

Ms. Villarreal has been asked for her expert advice in Nutritional Sciences by news outlets for their healthy living articles. You can read/view articles from the Monitor, KRGV, and The Valley Morning Star here.

The Valley Morning Star  - May 10, 2019 -  Expert: Low carb, keto diets benefits differ on your needs

The Monitor - March 31, 2019 -   Yolk never believe this: Cholesterol not necessarily a bad thing

KRGV - March 28, 2019 -   Heart of the Valley: Food Stamp Recipients Advised to Opt for Healthy Foods 

Increased Plasma Levels of the TH2 chemokine CCL18 associated with low CD4+ T cell counts in HIV-1-infected Patients with a Suppressed Viral Load - April 12, 2019

The latest publication from Dr. Upal Roy's research. Affiliations: Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Brownsville, TX, USA - Jonathan Abshier & Upal Roy

BMED Students’ “What am I made of?” Service Learning Project at the Children’s Museum of Brownsville

The BS in Biomedical Science (BMED) students in Dr. Sue Anne Chew’s BMED 4250 Advanced Cell Biology partnered with the Children’s Museum at Brownsville to teach children about what they are made of. Besides enforcing their knowledge of cell biology, through the service learning project, the BMED students were also able to develop a lot of soft skills including communication and team work skills which are vital in their future as a health professional or other biomedical science related fields such as research. The BMED students used their creativity to think outside the box to develop interactive activities to teach the children difficult concepts. Students expressed how interaction with the children at the museum helped them understand the importance of understanding your audience as future health professionals. The excitement and response from the children showed the BMED students their vital roles as mentors, teachers and leaders to the future generations and also the importance and joy of serving their community in their future careers.

What am I made of -01    What am I made of -02    What am I made of -03    What am I made of -04    What am I made of -05    What am I made of -06    What am I made of -07    What am I made of -08    What am I made of -09    What am I made of -010    What am I made of -011 

College of Health Professions Research Symposium 
Expanding Research, Impacting Health, Reaching the World 

The College of Health Professions is having their inaugural Research Symposium March 28-29, 2019 in both Edinburg and Brownsville campuses.

Research Symposium Agenda


March 28, 2019 
Edinburg campus

March 29, 2019 
Brownsville campus

9:00am-9:30am Registration Registration

Keynote Speaker: Dr. John Krouse (EHABW. 1.404)

(light refreshments and breakfast snacks will be provided)

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sarah Williams-Blangero (El Gran Salon)

(light refreshments and breakfast snacks will be provided)

10:30am-10:35am Transition/Door Prizes Transition/Door Prizes
10:35-11:15am Dr. Robert Gilkerson Dr. Upal Roy
11:15am-11:20am Transition/Door Prizes Transition/Door Prizes
11:20am-12:00pm Dr. Shirley Wells and Ms. Keri Gonzalez Dr. Zasha Romero and Dr. Lin Wang
12:00-1:00pm Lunch  (will not be provided) Lunch  (will not be provided)

Poster Session (EEDUC 3.204 Borderlands)

(light refreshments and snacks will be provided)

Poster Session (El Gran Salon)

(light refreshments and snacks will be provided)

2:30-2:45pm Transition/Door Prizes Transition/Door Prizes
2:45-3:00 Award Ceremony (EEDUC 3.204 Borderlands) Award Ceremony (El Gran Salon)


Pre Physician Assistant Society - UTRGV PA Program Admission Seminar 

Date: April 5, 2019
Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm
Location: BMSLC 2.203

For more information email: 


Medical Scribes

Visit the website and Apply today!

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The University of Texas Medical Branch is a leading academic health science center offering a wide array of biomedical science training programs. Our graduate training programs address the full spectrum of basic to translational and clinical research. Join us to advance the understanding of human disease and its treatment by emerging as a leader in academia, biotech, industry, government service and other related careers.

Biomedical Training Programs Academic and Career Opportunities Research Programs PhD and Master Degrees Neuroscience Summer Undergraduate Research Program
Biomedical Training Programs Research Programs Neuroscience Summer Undergraduate Research Program

For more information on these programs visit the website here:

UTRGV, Harlingen CISD to form high school to medical school pipeline for health professions 

medical high school

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday, Dec. 11, signed a letter of intent with the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District to expand their partnership to create a pipeline for students enrolled at the Harlingen High School of Health Professions to the university’s Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences (BMED) program and the UTRGV School of Medicine. (Photo Courtesy of the Harlingen CISD).

Making a positive change: UTRGV students, faculty traveled to rural Peru to provide medical care 

December 7, 2018 - Rio Grande Valley - Twenty-two UTRGV students traveled to Cusco, Peru, led by Dr. Hugo Rodriguez, clinical associate professor, Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences, and Dr. Saraswathy Nair, associate professor, Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences chair, back in spring 2018 to provide adults and children with medical and dental care. The group was part of the UTRGV Medical Brigade, a student organization that primarily focuses on providing healthcare to under-resourced areas. While in Peru, the group assisted many patients who had limited accessibility to medical resources.

New Course on Statistical Data Mining (STAT 4399) offered Spring 2019

This course is designed in a way that students will get a better understanding on popular data mining techniques, how and when to use them. Students will be given opportunities to apply these methods on real world data sets and get some hands on experience.

Statistical Data Mining Course

For more information contact:
Dr. Hansapani Rodrigo
School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Personal Growth and Healing using Creativity Minor Program

These elective courses are open to all majors - many expressive art modalities (e.g., drawing, photography, writing, dance) will be explored as applied to behavioral/mental health counseling. Students need not have a background in art (or even counseling) to successfully take these courses.

Expressive Arts 

UTRGV Ranked 1st among Texas institutions for awarding the most biology and biomedical sciences bachelor's degrees to Hispanics

Other UTRGV rankings and recognitions:

Superhero Project

Super Hero Project is a university-wide initiative to promote the idea that individual Vaqueros have the power to prevent high-risk behavior and harm. The Super Hero Project builds on the existing expertise of campus centers and departments at UTRGV and unifies these with consistent messaging and content.

We currently offer the following Superhero Project training's: 

  • Active Bystander Training  - General Presentation on how to be an active bystander at UTRGV ( 1 hour)
  • Academic Integrity Training  -A presentation on university policy which includes: plagiarism, collusion, and cheating (1 hour)
  • One Love: Escalation Video (Healthy Relationships) Training  - A video and debriefing session to begin an open discussion on dating violence (1 hour & 30 minutes)
  • One Love: #BehindThePost (Healthy Relationships) Training  - A video and debriefing on signs of abuse and social media influence (1 hour minutes)
  • Alcohol Awareness Bystander Presentation  - Training on being an Active Bystander when dealing with alcohol (1 hour)
  • DNA Anti Smoking Policy Presentation  -This presentation is to inform students, faculty, and staff about the anti smoking policies here at UTRGV. (1 hour)
  • Stalking Awareness Presentation  - Training on resources if you or someone is being stalked and how you can be a bystander (1 hour)
  • Title IX Training (w/SRR)  - Training on what is Title IX and how this law affects you (1 hour)
  • Green Zone Training  - This training is intended to teach civilians about how to support veterans with their transition into university life (1 hour)

If any of the presentation lengths are of concern we can always adjust them to meet the classes needs. We hope that we can work with you to inform our Vaqueros on important issues when it comes to the University and University policy.

If you would like a presentation in the Brownsville or Edinburg Campus contact:

Brownsville: 956-882-8292
Edinburg: 956-665-5375 
Website: Superhero Project 

BMED 3224: Independent Research IV

Dr. John Vandeberg (STDOI, SOM) would be happy to supervise another student or two in BMED 3224 beginning in the spring semester. The research project would involve conducting assays of HbA1c levels (percentage of total hemoglobin) from stored blood samples from a population in which diabetes and Chagas disease are highly prevalent. The goal would be to conduct a preliminary study to determine if chronic infection with Trypanosoma cruzi (t he parasite that causes Chagas disease) is a risk factor for developing pre-diabetes and diabetes. This work and embellishments of it could continue for several semesters if the student did well and wanted to continue working on the project longer term. The possibility also exists for offering Independent Research sections with Dr. Vandeberg in summer.

Please contact Dr. Vandeberg

Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference

GREAT NEWS! To accommodate students who are just now getting to school we have extended our submission deadline. The new submission undefined deadline is September 28th, and the conference will still take place at UT on Saturday, November 3rd. For further information please contact us at if you have any questions. Our website has had substantial updates with more detailed information.

BMED Induction Ceremony 2018

Incoming BMED students receive their white coats at the 2018 BMED Induction Ceremony August 24, 2018.

BMED students   Dr. Lehker   BMED students attend   Students in white coats

BMED Induction Ceremony 2018 photo album

Student Success Academy 2018

Incoming Fall 2018 BMED students attend the Student Success Academy August 22 & 23, 2018.

BMED students   Dr. Chew   Dr. Rodriguez   Dr. Nair

Student Success Academy 2018 photo album

Medical Brigades in Peru

21 BMED students along with faculty (Drs. Rodriguez and Nair) volunteered at rural health clinics in Peru in Summer 2018

Peru group pic     Medical Brigades students and faculty   Peru Health Clinic   Medical Brigades students in Peru

Medical Brigades in Peru photo album

Congratulations to Dr. Roy's new research grant for Anti-HIV drug research making the local news.

UTRGV working on new anti-HIV drug
Channel 4 - ValleyCentral - Aug. 7, 2018 -  With HIV cases increasing in the Rio Grande Valley, UTRGV is currently working on a new innovative drug to crackdown on the virus. It is all part of a grant from the National Institute of Health that awarded the university about $430,000 to research on an anti-HIV drug.

UTRGV awarded grant for anti-HIV drug research  
The Edinburg Review - Aug. 4, 2018 - Researchers at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences are working to develop a next generation of anti-HIV drugs that are more effective and have fewer side effects.  

UTRGV to research HIV drug -  School granted $500,000 to study development of nano drug  
The Monitor - July 11, 2018 -  The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley received nearly half-a-million-dollars to research and develop a new anti-HIV drug using nanotechnology that could place the academic institution at the forefront of a possible medical breakthrough. 

Role: Principal Investigator
Collaborators: Dr. Shizue Mito, Department of Chemistry, UTRGV and Dr. Vadym Drozd, Florida International University
Mechanism/ funding agency/ award number: R15NS108815-01, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS AND STROKE
Award amount, length of award: $432,729, 3 years
Summary: Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) associated comorbidities including HIV associated neurological disorders (HAND) is one of the high priority areas of investigation considering its social and economic impact on our society. Considering the fact that there is no effective treatment for HAND, our new nanodiamond based nano drug delivery can fulfill this dual aim by introducing the multidisciplinary approach of nanotechnology-based targeted drug delivery to the brain and potential reduction of HIV infected microglial reservoir in the brain. This will accelerate the discovery and validation of novel agent for the cellular and viral target to develop a safe, tolerable, low-cost antiviral agent. This basic and cross-disciplinary approach to research will stimulate the interest of students from underserved population to engage in the biomedical sciences and it will also strengthen the research environment of our leading Hispanic Serving Institution.

Volunteering/Donating Opportunities

Thousands of immigrant children have been separated from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border. If you or someone you know would like to help, h ere are some helpful links for you to  volunteer or donate.

Congratulations BMED Spring Class of 2018!

Spring Grads Vaqueros    Spring Grads walking  

2018 Spring Graduation photo album

BMED celebration group    BMED celebration Dr. Nair    

BMED Graduation Celebration photo album

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