B. A. (Physics , minor Chemistry), University of Rochester
Elba Serrano received her B.A in Physics from the University of Rochester, where she began her scientific journey as an undergraduate researcher under the guidance of Edwin Carstensen, currently Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering. She completed her PhD at Stanford University with Peter Getting and trained as a postdoctoral researcher with Bruce Ransom at Stanford Medical School and Susumu Hagiwara (deceased) at UCLA School of Medicine. She joined the faculty at NMSU in fall of 1991. Serrano’s biomedical research is supported by NIH and focuses on neural regeneration, sensory disorders of hearing and balance and the development of biological applications for quantum dot nanocrystals. She is an advocate of interdisciplinary research and education and she collaborates with scientists and engineers at LANL, Harvard University, and Southwest Sciences, Inc., as well as with engineers, physicists, and philosophers on the NMSU campus. Serrano serves as a member of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnology Users Executive Committee, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Health Sciences Advisory Council, the Steering Committee of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and the Government Relations Committee of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, as well as numerous NSF and NIH review panels. Serrano’s honors include a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a AAAS Lectureship in Women in Science and Engineering, and an NMSU Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has a special interest in programs that encourage students to pursue advanced degrees in STEM disciplines, in particular the achievement of a doctorate. In this capacity she serves as Director of the NMSU NIH RISE Program that supports student research training for doctoral degrees. In January of 2009, Serrano was named an NMSU Regents Professor. Serrano lives with her family in Las Cruces, NM.
Research: Mechanoreception Organ Systems for the Senses of Hearing and Balance
Our laboratory has been especially interested in the development and sensorineural patterning of the eight endorgans of the inner ear from embryonic through adult life. However, the small size and inaccessibility of the sensory epithelia of the inner ear pose challenges for biochemical investigations and tissue manipulation. Consequently we have faced many technical barriers, and we gradually have developed numerous strategies to circumvent methodological impediments. We use a broad range of methods, including molecular biology, histology, informatics, biophotonics, tissue culture, and electrophysiology. Our studies of the elaborate structural organization of the inner ear have been furthered by integration of data acquired with different bioimaging techniques (SEM, TEM, brightfield, epifluorescence confocal, multiphoton, optical coherence tomography). Because of our interest in hair cell signal transduction, we have cloned inner ear genes such as those for ion channels, and have established heterologous gene expression systems to further genetic analysis. These investigations are undertaken with the ultimate hope of contributing to the design of therapies and interventions that can assuage what is presently a global epidemic in hearing loss. More information about the NMSU lab can be accessed at: http://biology-web.nmsu.edu/serrano/neurolab/neurolab.html
Research in the CDP Center: Organ Decision Processes
Outreach in the CDP Center
Selected CDP Publications
Ramírez-Gordillo D., C. Trujillo-Provencio, V.B. Knight, and E.E. Serrano (2011). Comparison of three gene delivery methods in chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and Xenopus laevis kidney (A6) Cells. In vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 47: 640-652.
Powers T., S. Virk, and E.E.Serrano (2010). Strategies for enhanced annotation of a microarray probe set. International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications 6(2):163-78.
Trujillo-Provencio, C., Sultemeier, D., Powers T., and E.E.Serrano (2009). RNA isolation from Xenopus inner ear sensory endorgans for transcriptional profiling and molecular cloning. Methods in Mol Biol. 428: 3-20.