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Yadilette Rivera-Colón, PhD

Chair, Undergraduate Science Program; Director, Center of Excellence for Women in STEM; Associate Professor, Biology

BS, University of Puerto Rico; PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Yadilette Rivera-Colón, PhD, is the Department Chair of the Undergraduate Science Programs and an Associate Professor of Biology. She teaches biochemistry and biotechnology courses in the Residential College undergraduate program.

She earned her doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2013 from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she researched structural and biochemical properties of human lysosomal enzymes. Upon completion of her doctorate, she became an IRACDA Post-doctoral fellow at the PENN-Professional Opportunities for Research and Teaching, in the laboratory of Ronen Marmorstein, Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania, where she focused on biochemical studies of protein acetyltransferases.

As a researcher, Dr. Rivera-Colón has presented various projects and she also collaborated with undergraduate students on published articles such as "The structure of N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfatase and implications for chondroitin-6-sulfate degradation in Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA (MPS IVA)." In addition, she has won many honors and awards, including best posters and fellowship grants.

Most importantly, her career has been shaped by her passion for education. Dr. Rivera-Colón has visited dozens of universities and institutions all over the country where she shared her knowledge and experiences with students of all ages and academic and cultural backgrounds. Her work as a professor and a mentor is where she thrives the most. She strongly believes in teaching the importance of the scientific basis within the context of everyday problems, and taking into consideration both its historical importance and future application. Just as she has done with her previous students, Dr. Rivera-Colón is teaching in a way that incorporates different elements such audio-visual activities as well as hands-on activities. Also, by knowing the identity and the background of the students, she tailors every class to their needs and interests.