Julissa Burgos, 20'


Julissa Burgos, 20'





Julissa Burgos was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Julissa is currently studying the molecular mechanisms of Vibrio cholerae persistence in its natural environment under the guidance of Dr. Salvador Almagro-Moreno. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. In Microbiology and become a research scientist. She hopes to collaborate with other scientists to aid in controlling outbreaks caused by pathogens.

Faculty Mentor

Salvador Almagro-Moreno, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Major

Biomedical Sciences

Future Plans

Ph.D. in Microbiology


Title: Applying Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for bacterial detection in water.

Institution: Conducted at the Chemistry Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus

Mentor: Dr. Marco de Jesús, Ph.D. Chemistry Department, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus

Outbreaks of bacteria in food and water have caused concerns in water treatment facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and food processing facilities. The issues that can be caused by pathogenic bacteria calls for new methods that can rapidly and effectively detect them in order to avoid economic losses, deaths, and illness. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy is an emerging technique for the detection of bacteria since it is less time consuming, cost effective, and it can distinguish between live and dead bacteria. This work employs cellulose filters as a substrate material for SERS detection. The filter is coated with silver nanoparticles because they enhance the bacterial signals. Different amounts of pathogenic bacteria are filtered through the membrane to see which is the minimum CFU of bacteria detected. Preliminary results show that SERS can detect pathogenic bacteria with Ag cellulose membrane and test the limit amount of detection for the substrate. The characteristic E.coli bands at 730cm-1 and 1318 cm-1 will be monitored and discussed.

Title:The Study of N-Terminal Methylation of hOLA1 catalyzed by NRMT1 and its potential role in cancer

Institution: Conducted at Kansas State University part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program

Mentor: Dr. Ping Li, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University

Multiple studies have proven that the protein Obg-like ATPase 1, referred to as OLA1, is associated with different types of cancers. This protein has important functions in cellular processes and plays a significant role in the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. hOLA1 is predicted to be a targeted substrate for α N-terminal RCC1 methyltransferase (NRMT1) because it shares the N-terminal Met-Pro-Pro-Lys motif sequence. NRMT1 can catalyze the N-terminal methylation by the addition of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM), a methyl donor. This project aims to study whether hOLA1 can be N-terminally methylated by NRMT1 as well as its roles in carcinogenesis. The preliminary studies focus on the in vitro methylation at a peptide level because it is more cost effective and easier to characterize. The N-terminally methylated peptide was characterized by using the techniques of Mass Spectrometry and HPLC. These results indicate that the protein hOLA1 can be methylated by NRMT1 in vivo.

Summer Research Institution

Kansas State University


Chemistry | Medicine and Health Sciences

Julissa Burgos, 20'