- Professor of Basic Sciences (Division of Microbiology) and Ob-Gyn, Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), Ponce, 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, New Jersey, USA (NSF pre-doctoral fellow). She is a Fellow of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.
Since 2001, she directs the Endometriosis Research Program (ERP) of the Ponce Research Institute, funded by the NIH [NCRR-MBRS (2006-2009); NICHD-NIH R01 (2006-2011); ARRA supplement (2010-2011); STTR grant 2016-2017]. Her research interests include discovery of molecular biomarkers, inflammatory, and genetic/epigenetic factors of endometriosis/infertility. The ERP consists of a network of physicians, scientists, and graduate/MD students that collaborate to conduct endometriosis-focused 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 (5%); 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; and demonstration of detrimental effects of stress on endometriosis and associated inflammatory parameters.
Ongoing research efforts in her laboratory include i) studies of the economic impact of endometriosis on the health system; ii) conducting pre-clinical studies of non-hormonal drugs in a rat model of endometriosis, and iii) discovery of the endometriosis epigenomic and proteomic signatures. Dr. Flores has graduated 6 PhDs with a focus on endometriosis, and established a lecture on endometriosis pathophysiology for 3rd year medical students at PHSU and other medical schools in Puerto Rico.
Dr Flores is member of the Board of Directors of the Fundación Puertorriqueña de Pacientes con Endometriosis (ENDOPR www.endometriosispr.com), a non-profit foundation that promotes education and awareness in Puerto Rico, and is an educator/scientist/advocate of Women Health issues in Puerto Rico.
Dr Flores has been a WES Ambassador since 2011.