- Professor of Microbiology and Ob-Gyn, Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences (PSMHS), Puerto Rico
Dr Idhaliz Flores has a BS in industrial microbiology from UPR-Mayagüez (Magna Cum Laude, Award to Best Student, Biology Department) and a PhD in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from Rutgers-UMDNJ, USA (NSF pre-doctoral fellow). She is a Fellow of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.
Since 2001, she directs the PSMHS Endometriosis Research Program (ERP), funded by the NIH [NCRR-MBRS (2006-2009); NICHD-NIH R01 (2006-2011); ARRA supplement (2010-2011)]. Her research interests include discovery of molecular biomarkers, inflammatory, and genetic factors of endometriosis/infertility. The ERP consists of a network of physicians and scientists (obstetricians, gynaecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, pathologists, geneticists, epidemiologists/biostatisticians, graduate/MD students, post-doctoral fellows) to promote endometriosis research in Puerto Rico. Under her direction, the ERP has established a biorepository of annotated tissues, serum and nucleic acids from patients and controls. Research conducted at ERP established the prevalence of endometriosis in the Island; identified a genetic region in chromosome 10 associated with disease; reported association of SNPs and endometriosis; measured the impact of endometriosis on life, health and work productivity.
Ongoing efforts include i) studies of the economic impact of endometriosis on the health system; ii) investigation of roles of inflammatory and pain mechanisms in a rat model of endometriosis, iii) demonstration of detrimental effects of stress on endometriosis, and, iv) discovery of the endometriosis epigenome and proteome.
Dr Flores is member of the Board of Directors of the Fundación Puertorriqueña de Pacientes con Endometriosis, a non-profit foundation that promotes education and awareness in Puerto Rico, and an educator/scientist/advocate of Women Health issues in Puerto Rico.