Sep 17, 2020
Professors Jose Rodriguez and Jorge Torres

Professors Jose Rodriguez and Jorge Torres are recognized in Cell Press’ list of 100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America.

Cell Mentor, an online resource from Cell Press and Cell Signaling Technology, has compiled the list in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. According to the announcement, the list - selected based on scholarly achievements, mentoring excellence, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion - represents only a subset of the scientific role models in the community.

A true Bruin, Professor Jose Rodriguez received his B.S. in BioPhysics in 2007 and his Ph.D. in molecular biology at UCLA. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2016, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Professor David Eisenberg. Rodriguez holds the Howard Reiss Development Chair in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. His group develops and applies new scientific methods in bio-imaging to solve cellular and molecular structures and reveal undiscovered structures that influence chemistry, biology and medicine. He conducts research on the complex architecture of biological systems — from single biomolecules to cellular assemblies — at high resolution. His research combines computational, biochemical and biophysical experiments. Rodriguez’s recent awards and honors include selection as a 2020 Sloan Fellow, a 2019 Packard Fellow, and a 2018 Pew scholar in the biomedical sciences.

     Professor Jorge Torres received a bachelor’s degree in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from UC Santa Barbara in 1998 and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University in 2004. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Genentech Inc. before joining the UCLA faculty in 2009. Torres’ group investigates mitotic spindle formation during cell division and its misregulation in human diseases, especially cancer. The lab's major focus is to understand how multiple mechanisms and enzymatic activities coordinate the formation of the mitotic microtubule spindle during cell division. Torres’ recent awards and honors include being honored in 2020 by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) in recognition of his lifelong commitment to mentoring students.  In 2019 Torres received UCLA Academic Senate’s Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award and the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity. In 2018, he received the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award.


Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,