Dr. Gianna Hernandez Mendez was born and raised in tropical Puerto Rico. She has a Master’s Degree from the California Institute of Technology in Geology specializing in volcanology. Dr. Hernandez’s doctoral work was done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained a Ph.D. in neuroimmunology. Her doctoral research includes the immune response in the central nervous system (brain & spinal cord) and how it developed during bacterial infections and autoimmunity. Specifically, how Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection affects the brain; and analyzing results of a human clinical trial of a multiple sclerosis treatment using helminths as an immunomodulatory therapy.
Dr. Hernandez has over ten years of experience in teaching and learning, both in the classroom and researching best practices and active learning techniques. Courses taught include biology, cell and molecular biology, anatomy and physiology, genetics, geology, introductory physics, and mathematics.