Policy: Hurricane Maria Grants for Students in Puerto Rico

Contributed by kjm34 on Mar 15, 2018 - 02:54 PM

Thank you to everyone who donated to ASN and SSE to fund grants to students in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. We were able to grant over $18,000 to help students continue their research. Continue reading to hear one student who received funding, Paola Matos Ruiz, explain the impact of these funds.

“Receiving these emergency funds from SSE has been of great help for the continuation of my research project in Dr. Martinez-Cruzado’s laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. The passing of hurricane María on September 20th seriously affected the electric grid of the entire island, causing a massive blackout that left people without power for months. Broken trees blocked the streets for several days, and when we had the opportunity of coming back to the lab the building backup generator suffered terrible mechanical damage. Sadly, most of our samples and reagents were completely thawed by that time and unfortunately had to be disposed. Thanks to the generous funding from the SSE, I was able to replace most of the materials I was using in my research project- that intends to characterize Pre Columbian migrations of Native Americans to Puerto Rico using whole mtDNA next-generation sequencing. I used this funding to buy restriction enzymes, genotyping assays, and library preparation materials for next-generation sequencing. I am so grateful for the funding received from the SSE and also would like to congratulate SSE members for this great initiative that is making a significant difference in the continuation of many research projects in Puerto Rico.”