Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, University of Houston Chapter


Roba Abousaway

Roba Abousaway: Public Relations Coordinator

Roba is a junior Biochemistry student and a co-founder of the UH SACNAS chapter. Her first research experience was as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow in the McKeon lab where she studied stem cell differentiation patterns in Cystic Fibrosis patients’ lung tissues. Her long-term goal is to attend medical school and become a physician scientist. She is passionate about SACNAS’s mission of diversity and inclusivity and wants to do her part in paving the way for women and minorities in the sciences.

Alejandro Ramirez

Alejandro Ramirez: Graduate Student Advisor

Alejandro is a graduate student working towards a PhD in experimental astroparticle physics. Working under Dr. Andrew Renshaw, his research involves developing and surveying particle detector technologies for DarkSide 20k, a dark matter experiment searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles. He has been a SACNAS member for one year and is a co-founder of the SACNAS UH chapter to help students of all backgrounds find a research experience.

Lorissa Saiz

Lorissa Saiz: Secretary

Lorissa is a Senior Biology major and is currently doing research in transposable element tolerance. She has been working in Dr. Erin Kelleher’s lab for two years and has been involved in SACNAS for a year. She has also presented research at the regional STEGG conference. Lorissa is extremely interested in promoting women in science, especially minority women, and strives to create a supportive environment for women in STEM, a male dominated career field. She will graduate in December 2019 and pursue a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology.

Victoria Mousa

Victoria Mousa: President

Victoria is a Junior Biology student and Co-Founder of the University of Houston’s SACNAS Chapter. Victoria’s experience in clinical research first began when she was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). As a member of Dr. Bawa-Khalfe Lab, she investigated the role of post-translational protein modification on the development of hormone positive breast cancer. She presented her findings at OUR’s Annual Undergraduate Research Day and at the 2018 National Diversity in STEM Conference. Her long term objective is to attend medical school and become a researching practitioner. Victoria is committed to SACNAS’s mission of providing authentic research experiences for minority students. And as a woman and daughter of immigrants, she is devoted to diversifying STEM.

Emma Claudia Perez

Emma Claudia Perez: Vice President

In a broad sense, Emma’s scientific interests lie in the behavioral neuroscience of long-term environmental experiences. She has primarily been interested in how early life experiences shape brain and behavior, and currently investigates the lasting effects of juvenile exercise on brain plasticity and function in adult rats. Specifically, she is researching whether developmental exercise enhances hippocampal plasticity and stress resilience in adulthood. Emma is also interested and involved in promoting true diversity in STEM. She currently helps lead the UH Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter. Her goal is to advance the Hispanic community, from first-generation students to those lacking resources and guidance (thus not only Hispanic individuals) in STEM.

Chayanne Solorzano

Chayanne Solorzano: Events Coordinator

Chayanne Solorzano is a Biotechnology student and is interested in pursuing a career in cancer research. His first research experience was as part of the SMART program at Baylor College of Medicine, working on treatment-resistant prostate cancer under Dr. Damian Young in the Center for Drug Discovery. Chayanne is a DACA recipient and first-generation college student and strongly believes in creating an accepting and inclusive environment for diversity in STEM. #LatinxInSTEM #LGBTInSTEM

Franklin Roque

Franklin Roque: Financial Officer

Franklin Roque is an undergraduate Senior studying mechanical engineering. He is currently working under Dr. Theocharis Baxevanis studying the effects of remnant martensite in shape memory alloys through finite element analysis. His long term goals include pursuing a career in research and helping to involve more students in research opportunities to help push their own careers in STEM majors.

Zackary Wilke

Zackary Wilke: Faculty Outreach Coordinator

Zack is a Junior Biology major and is currently doing research in individual cryptic scaling relationships. He has been working with Dr. Tony Frankino for half a year and is newly involved in SACNAS. He is interested in the diversification of STEM and promoting opportunities to individuals facing socioeconomic barriers. He strives to attend graduate school and further his research career in Evolutionary Biology.

Addison Staples

Addison Staples: Membership Outreach Coordinator

Addison Staples is a junior Biology major with hopes in pursuing a career in medicine. He is currently in Dr. Richard Bond’s lab doing research on pathway differentiation in the beta 2 adrenergic receptor.