Young Researchers

Romel Rivera, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Romel Rivera I’m an Environmental Engineering student at the Universidad Central del Ecuador (Central University of Ecuador). I graduated from the “Eugenio Espejo” Municipal Educational Unit as II Escort of the institutional pavilion. I am currently in the 5th semester at the Central University and have been a teaching assistant for the subjects of Organic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. I use Matlab, R and C++. I am passionate about scientific and poetic writing. Follower of the reason-spirit duality and the sense of working for the common welfare and for the sake of human development. I consider fast learning to be one of my strengths; If the interest and commitment exists, I can master the subject briefly. Finally, I joined the group because enthusiasm for learning is an engine to grow socially, professionally and personally.

Skills and expertise
Organic and Analytical Chemistry • Scientific and Poetic Writing • Matlab • R • C++.
Francisco Quinga, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I received my BSc in Information Technology from Yachay Tech University, Urcuquí – Ecuador in 2020. My bachelor thesis was based on Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity proposes. During my collage life, I got involved in several research projects that implanted me powerful communication and social skills, critical thinking, and a spirit to dive where no one else is willing: in 2018, I participated in the final round of the international tournament of mobile applications “TuApp” , Lima – Perú; in 2019, I undertook an internship at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska – USA ; later the same year, I was a conference speaker at The University of Manchester, Manchester – UK. My research interests span around Artificial Intelligence, Unmanned Systems, Business Analytics, and Cybersecurity. The scope of my applications of interest encompasses the medical, military, industry and business sectors.

Skills and expertise
Image processing • Artificial Intelligence • Mobile applications • High-level programming (MatLab, Python, Java, C++, Html) • Medium-level programming (Haskell).

See Publications

  • RFID and Wireless Based System for Restaurant Industry.

    Riofrío-Valdivieso A., Quinga-Socasi F., Bustamante-Orellana C., Andrade-Chamorro E.
    Advances in Emerging Trends and Technologies. ICAETT 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 1067. Springer, Cham.
    See Full-Paper

  • Brain Tumor Classification Using Principal Component Analysis and Kernel Support Vector Machine.

    Torres-Molina R., Bustamante-Orellana C., Riofrío-Valdivieso A., Quinga-Socasi F., Guachi R., Guachi-Guachi L.
    Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning – IDEAL 2019. IDEAL 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11872. Springer, Cham.
    See Full-Paper

  • Q-Credit Card Fraud Detector for Imbalanced Classification using Reinforcement Learning

    Luis Zhinin-Vera, Oscar Chang, Rafael Valencia-Ramos, Ronny Velastegui, Gissela E. Pilliza and Francisco Quinga Socasi.
    In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence – Volume 1: ICAART, ISBN 978-989-758-395-7, pages 279-286.
    See Full-Paper

  • Digital Cryptography Implementation using Neurocomputational Model with Autoencoder Architecture

    Francisco Quinga Socasi, Ronny Velastegui, Luis Zhinin-Vera, Rafael Valencia-Ramos, F.Ortega-Zamorano and Oscar Chang.
    In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence – Volume 2: ICAART, ISBN 978-989-758- 395-7, pages 865-872.
    See Full-Paper

Gissela Pilliza, BE.
Young Researcher Assistant of MIND – Research Group

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Technology Director / Manager and Software & AI developer at Dipity Agency. Technology executive and developer focused on Business Intelligence, eloquent, always passionate about technology, the business sector, research, leadership, interdisciplinary, artistic, extracurricular and volunteer activity. ICT and computer science are part of my third level training that culminates with a thesis applying my knowledge in the area of artificial intelligence for stock exchanges. I firmly believe in the interdisciplinary connection between the various fields of science and industry; and in which scientific communication and innovation play a key role for the construction of knowledge and the economic development of societies.

Skills and expertise

Skilled in the construction of AI models • Use of Spanish, English, German • Leadership • Management and group management.

See Publications

  • Risk analysis of the stock market by means self-organizing maps model.

    Gissela E. Pilliza ; Osiris A. Román ; Winter J. Morejón ; Sergio H. Hidalgo ; Francisco Ortega-Zamorano.
    2018 IEEE 3rd Ecuador Technical Chapters Meeting, ETCM 2018. Cuenca, Ecuador: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. ISBN:978-153866657-9. DOI: 10.1109/ETCM.2018.8580320.
    See Full-Paper

  • Q-Credit Card Fraud Detector for Imbalanced Classification using Reinforcement Learning

    Luis Zhinin-Vera, Oscar Chang, Rafael Valencia-Ramos, Ronny Velastegui, Gissela E. Pilliza and Francisco Quinga Socasi.
    In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence – Volume 1: ICAART, ISBN 978-989-758-395-7, pages 279-286.
    See Full-Paper

Maria Fernanda Molina, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I have a bachelor degree in Information Technology. My main interests are Geoinformatics, Computational Geometry and Photogrammetry. My degree project called “Comparison of radial distortion correction models for self photogrammetric camera calibration” is my way to introduce me into the research related to these fields. Currently my strongest knowledge is the algebraic geometry of radial distortion models. I have also worked on the field of Evolutionary Artificial Neural Networks, specifically in NEAT. I am passionate about teaching and I have participated in social projects for children in rural areas focused on the motivation to learn video games programming and mathematics at school.

Skills and expertise
Algebraic Geometry of radial distortion models • Evolutionary Artificial Neural Networks.

See Publications

  • Red-Black Tree Based NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies.

    William R. ArellanoPaul A. SilvaMaria F. MolinaSaulo RonquilloFrancisco Ortega-Zamorano.
    International Work-Conference on Artificial Neural Networks. IWANN 2019: Advances in Computational Intelligence pp 678-686.
    See Full-Paper

Truman Tapia, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Truman Tapia is a physicist interested in Astrophysics and its study throug computational resources. His liking in this area made him win the contest “NameExoWorlds IAU100” of Ecuador sponsored by the International Astronomical Union, where Truman named a star and an exoplanet. He graduated in 2020 from Yachay Tech University in Ecuador with a cum laude distinction. His thesis topic and main field of research is Cosmological Inflation, which has led him to collaborate with the Bielefeld University in Germany. Truman has been accepted to participate in the 2020 Wolfram Summer School where the groundbreaking theory of fundamental physics (The Wolfram Physics Project) is studied and developed.

Skills and expertise
Cosmological Perturbations • Mathematica • Hiking.

See Publications

  • Semiclassical analysis of the Starobinsky inflationary model.

    Truman Tapia, Muhammad Zahid Mughal and Clara Rojas.
    Physics of the Dark Universe, Volume 30, 2020, 100650, ISSN 2212-6864,
    See Full-Paper

Edwin Vasconez, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Edwin is an Ecuadorian theoretical physicist. He graduated cum laude from Yachay Tech University. Edwin’s main scientific interests are in Computational Materials Science and Data Analysis applying theoretical and computational methods. His main research topics include metal/oxide surfaces and interfaces, dynamical systems, sociophysics. Edwin has experience with simulation, visualization, and modeling materials using programs like VASP, GPAW, Materials Studio, ASE, VMD, and VESTA.

Skills and expertise
Computational materials science • First-principles methods • Computational Physics • Dynamical Systems • Density Functional Theory • Python, C, Java .
Michelle Camila Muñoz, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Michelle Muñoz I am in the Seventh Semester in the Biomedicine career, I did internships as a nursing assistant in my last year of college at the Hospital del Río in Cuenca, there I decided to study a branch that is linked to medicine. In 2018 I did internships in environmental issues at the Ministry of the Environment of Imbabura and in 2019 I did a social volunteering in a clinic-nursing home in Brazil with a group of students from the Federal University Santa Maria. Currently, I have a project focused on the development of technological tools to improve physical rehabilitation in Ecuador. I am interested in topics related to the implementation of technology in medicine and I have basic knowledge in signal processing and mobile application design.

Skills and expertise
Biomedicine • Basic knowledge of signal processing and mobile application design.
Karen Odalys Torres, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I’m Odalys Torres, 22-year-old Biologist graduated from Yachay Tech, I I am passionate about interdisciplinary research and I have more expertise on issues related to molecular biology, they had the opportunity to participate in research projects ranging from in vitro cultivation of orchid species endemic and important food and medicinal plants in Ecuador, passing by Epigenetics of light signaling during plant development, Neosporosis Serology, Cutting-edge techniques for rapid detection of HPV, and some conductance in protein propellers, this last project I had the opportunity to undertake it at Arizona State University, finally reaching Molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques applied to DNA sequences. My titling project was the description of the new species Pristimantis elquimi of the Strabomantidae family from the Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador. During my free time I dedicate myself to establishing the Ecogestores initiative that has a social focus on improving the quality of life for informal recyclers while we optimize the recycling flow in the Quito area and We produce value-added products through Open Source technology from Precious Plastic. On the other hand, I dedicate myself to scientific dissemination in of nutrition and sustainability through the Pillaro Nature page.

Skills and expertise
Research and techniques applied to molecular biology • Bioinformatics applied to DNA research • In vitro plant cultivation and basic epigenetics of plants • Sustainability mechanisms and their applicability

See Publications

  • Serology for Neosporosis, Q fever and Brucellosis to assess the cause of abortion in two dairy cattle herds in Ecuador

    Darwin Changoluisa, Ismar A. Rivera-Olivero, Gustavo Echeverria, Miguel Angel Garcia-Bereguiain,Jacobus H. de Waard & the working group “Applied Microbiology” of the School of Biological Sciences and Engineering at Yachay Tech University
    BMC Veterinary Research.2019-12 | journal-article. DOI: 10.1186/s12917-019-1924-7
    See Full-Paper

  • Prevention of cervical cancer development through early detection of HPV using novelty molecular applications

    Kerly León-Ordóñez, Sofía Abad-Sojos and Odalys Torres.
    Humboldt kolleg Ibarra 2019. 2019-02-19 | journal-article. DOI: 10.21931/rb/cs/2019.02.01.15
    See Full-Paper

  • Epigenetics of Light Signaling During Plant Development

    Odalys Torres,Sofía Abad-Sojos,Karen Sánchez,Raquel F. Carvalh,Sofia D. Carvalho
    2019 | book-chapter. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-14760-0_8
    See Full-Paper

  • Application of the technique CRISPR/Cas9 in the reduction and permanent inactivation of Huntington’s Disease

    Sofía Abad-Sojos,Odalys Torres,Kerly León Ordóñez.
    2018-08-15 | journal-article.DOI: 10.21931/rb/2018.03.03.11
    See Full-Paper

  • Amblyrhynchus cristatus, el único lagarto marino del mundo

    Odalys Torres.
    2017-05-15 | journal-article. DOI: 10.21931/rb/2017.02.02.10
    See Full-Paper

Giovanny Caluña, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I´m an Information Technology Engineer at the Yachay Tech University in Urcuquí – Ecuador. During my career, I had the opportunity to study and work in different fields in Computer Science such as Machine Learning, Artificial Neural Networks, High-Performance Computing, and Computer Graphics.Furthermore, I have a wide knowledge of different programming languages including Matlab, Python, Haskell, C, C++, R, Java and Bash. I´m currently working on issues related with Deep Learning, specifically Convolutional Neural Networks. My main research project is entitled «Convolutional Neural Networks for Automatic Classification of Diseased Leaves: The Impact of Dataset Size and Fine-tuning». Finally, my aspirations lie on continuing developing myself as person as well as computational scientist.

Skills and expertise
AI • Deep Learning • CNN • HPC • Image proccesing
Jorge Castro, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I’m a Chemist graduate at Yachay Tech and an ERASMUS scholarship holder at the University of Groningen for a Master’s degree in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modeling. I firmly think that Theoretical Chemistry provides the tools to insight the physical and mathematical principles that are at the heart of every known chemical process, and the Computational Modelling is the fundamental instrument to pass from theory to real world applications. Combined, these two disciplines give scientists the opportunity to address an almost unlimited variety of chemical systems to support chemical applications and predict the occurrence of phenomena that haven’t been even observed or predict the existence of materials that have not been synthesized yet. My interest in this field has led me to participate in a research visit at Arizona State University which goal is to model and determine electronic and spin transport properties in chiral alanine alpha-helices and determine the effect over these properties of substitution of Ala residues with bulky side chain peptides. During my career, I learned to program in Python on my own because I consider it a useful skill in any area of science today, and because I love the feeling that comes when a program compiles. I am not afraid to participate in research projects involving scientific areas other than Chemistry because I consider that interdisciplinarity is key in scientific and technological development, and this kind of experience has allowed me to obtain a broader knowledge framework. As proof of this, I received a scholarship from CNPEM to develop a Python-written pipeline for the automatization of the use of software package CrystFEL, destined to serve in the pre-processing of serial crystallography data at the synchrotron facility Sirius. I also developed the software Delta Chem, designed to provide more realistic modeling of the internal surface of these materials and take advantage of the symmetry present in their structures to generate reduced but significant regions of the structure, where high-level QM calculations can be carried out rigorously, allowing the achievement of high precision results with a significantly reduced computational cost.

Skills and expertise
Python programming •  Theoretical Chemistry • Computational Chemistry • MOFs • Electron transport
Mauricio Aguilera, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a newly graduated Information Technology Engineer. I have experience in web development with Angular, Django, Flask, Firebase and WordPress. I have developed several computer programs of different scopes in python. For instance an «Anomaly Detection System by Using Deep Learning Techniques», a «Document Submission Alert System» for the Environmental Quality Department of the Ministry of the Environment, web servers, small videogames and some scripts.

Skills and expertise
Artificial Intelligence •  Web Development • Python • Convolutional Neural Networks
Sebastian Valencia, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Sebastián Valencia Ramos. I’m a Biotechnology Engineering student at the Ikiam Regional Amazon University, Tena- Ecuador. I graduated of Science from Spellman High school, Quito-Ecuador. I am currently in the eighth semester and starting my thesis project. I use SnapGene, R and BLAST. My passion is bioprospecting and genetic engineering, especially in the agricultural sector. I consider that Ecuador has great potential in biological and genetic resources. I joined the research group with enthusiasm to learn, help and encourage education and research.

Skills and expertise
Heterologous expression • DNA extraction • Molecular phylogenetics • Chromatography
Bryan Aldaz, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Bryan Patricio Aldaz Luna (05/19/1996) from the city of Machala, biomedical engineering student at Yachay Tech. Before covid-19 he was going to characterize a waste that leaves the fermentation of sugarcane, vinasse. In addition to studying its biological activity in crops. However, today I will do a bibliographic review of it describing its potential approaches and its possible use to produce bioenergy. In my semesters of career I have found greater interest in engineering in fabrics, in biomaterials and polymers. Similarly towards using what we commonly call waste as raw material to produce bioenergy.

Skills and expertise
Biomaterials • PolymersBioenergy

See Publications

  • Cellulose for the effective decontamination of water pollution

    Bryan Aldaz, Freddy Figueroa and Isaac Bravo.
    Bionatura. Latin American Journal of Biotechnology and Life Sciences
    See Full-Paper

  • Microalgae species as potential inhibitors of the bioactivity of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in shrimps

    Freddy Figueroa, Bryan Aldaz.
    Bionatura Conference Series Vol 2. No 1. 2019
    See Full-Paper

Esteban Guamba, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a Biomedical Engineer student at Yachay Tech University and I was born in Quito-Ecuador. During my career, I have obtained the B2 level English proficiency, and completed several online courses related to measuring diseases in epidemiology as well as a course focused on obesity and overweight nutrition offered by UNAM on Coursera. In addition, I am very passionate about science and my objective is to find the ways in which we can contribute to the wellness of people from research. I am interested in topics related to Biomedicine and molecular biology such as: Public health, biosensors, blood banks, diagnosis of diseases by PCR, and the study of diseases of social interest such as dengue, malaria and Chagas disease.

Skills and expertise
Biomedicine BiosensorsBlood Banks •  Molecular Biology
Pamela Suarez, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Pamela Suárez, I am a ninth semester student of the Biology degree at Yachay Tech University. I am passionate about sharing science with others. For this reason, I have participated in scientific dissemination projects focused on teaching biology. In 2018, I did internships at the Ministry of the Environment, in the project of mapping of the environmental situation (contaminating factors), in the area of environmental quality. During my career, I have participated as a volunteer in different projects, including the detection of malaria in hummingbirds and the volunteering carried out in the Vivarium Quito, in the area of reptile and amphibian management. I am currently a research assistant in the projects of “Solar resource to produce energy in Ecuador”, and “Bioprospecting of non-nodular diazotrophic bacteria with the capacity to synthesize indole acetic acid”. My degree project is focused on the investigation of respiratory diseases in bats, including the different types of coronaviruses, in Ecuador.

Skills and expertise
Molecular biology • Microbiology • Bioenergy •  Conservation biology. 
Nataly Milan, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I’m a Biomedical student at Yachay Tech. I am interested in interdisciplinary research with main interests in artificial intelligence and assistance technology in the health area. I have completed online courses such as mobile application design, introduction to SolidWorks  and introduction of finite element method applied to biomedical engineering.  Nowadays, I am working on a project focused on the development of technological equipment for physical rehabilitation in Ecuador. Also, the analysis of essentially non-oscillatory numerical techniques for the computation of the level set method to be applied in radiotherapy.

Skills and expertise
Biomedicine Introduction on Signal Processing and Level Set Method Simulations
Daniela González, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Daniela González. I am 23 years old. I recently received my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Yachay Tech University. I am fascinated with Ecuador’s ecosystems and its natural products. Thus, I performed research on the analysis of the principal secondary metabolites exhibited in the plant Alternanthera porrigens and their biological activities. Likewise, I have been investigating the determination of the biological activities of the components displayed in the Ecuadorian scorpion Teuthrastes atramentarius venom. In fact, I intent to pursue a master’s degree in the chemistry of natural products because I consider that the Ecuadorian multiverse flora could be used to develop new drugs that can overcome antibiotic resistance. I firmly believe that education and science are the basis to make a significant impact on society. Consequently, I have been involved in several programs of science diffusion aimed at children and teenagers.

Skills and expertise
Biochemistry Natural products • Biological activities •  Secondary Metabolites

See Publications

  • Secondary metabolites in plants: main classes, phytochemical analysis and pharmacological activities

    Mera, Irina & Falconí, Daniela & Morera, Vivian.  February 2020
    See Full-Paper

Jocelyne Estrella, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Chemist graduated from Yachay Tech with a strong interest in Materials Science. She realized her pre-professional practices at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV-IPN), Queretaro -México in 2018. She worked on the synthesis and characterization of ferroelectric ceramic materials in bulk. After this, she did a thesis stay at the same research center in 2019. On this occasion she worked with ferroelectric materials in thin films deposited by sputtering method, complementing her previous work. The research carried out has an energetic approach, applicable to diverse devices such as capacitors and photovoltaic cells. Their work was presented at the XII International Conference on Surfaces, Materials and Vacuum in San Luis Potosí, México. These experiences have allowed her to get involved and gain knowledge about different synthesis and characterization techniques of materials.

Skills and expertise
Material Science Environmental •  Archaeology.
Ronny Cortez, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Ronny Cortez. Currently, I am a fourth-year student of the Information Technology career at Yachay Tech. I obtained my high school degree at the “Los Angeles” Particular Unit of Lima, Perú. As pre-professional practices, I’ve worked in Chile at the University of Antofagasta, on the “Optimization of the Heating and Cooling Demand based on Building Simulation”. I have skills and knowledge of several programming languages such as C, Python, Javascript, Matlab and R. I am enthusiastic by the idea of being part of this research group in order to contribute with my knowledge and dedication, and likewise to achieving personal fulfilment and consolidate my professional profile.

Skills and expertise
Networks and Distributed Systems Optimization Web Programming Image Processing
Paolo Vallejo, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am Paolo Vallejo-Janeta. I am a Biologist graduated from Yachay Tech. My main interests include Epidemiology, Public Health, Microbiology, and Bioinformatics. In this area, I worked on my graduation project which studies the evolution and risk factors of resistance patterns in Tuberculosis in Ecuador during the last decade. I acquired expertise using statistical programs during this project. I also worked as a volunteer in The Microbe Directory, an online microbial database project from Weill Cornell Medicine. I would like to continue my career studying dynamics of infectious and chronic diseases in developing countries using modelling. I am also passionate about scientific divulgation.

Skills and expertise
Epidemiology Public Health One Health Infectious and chronic diseases R

See Publications

  • Serology for Neosporosis, Q fever and Brucellosis to assess the cause of abortion in two dairy cattle herds in Ecuador

    Darwin Changoluisa, Ismar A. Rivera-Olivero, Gustavo Echeverria, Miguel Angel Garcia-Bereguiain,Jacobus H. de Waard & the working group “Applied Microbiology” of the School of Biological Sciences and Engineering at Yachay Tech University
    BMC Veterinary Research.2019-12 | journal-article. DOI: 10.1186/s12917-019-1924-7
    See Full-Paper

  • Situation of Human Papilloma Virus: Generalities and current treatments

    Cristhian Preciado  and Paolo Vallejo Janeta. 

    Bionatura Conference Series Vol 2. No 1. 2019. “Breaking Paradigms: Towards a Multi-, Inter- and Transdisciplinary Science” In commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt.

    See Full-Paper

Jorge Cárdenas, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Chemist graduated from Yachay Tech University focused on theoretical chemistry. An Erasmus Mundus scholarship holder in Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling at the University of Barcelona. A hardworking researcher motivated for being involved in chemistry, physics, and interdisciplinary fields who consider firmly that theoretical chemistry and computational tools provide the principles to predict new characteristics in the field of materials science joining the theory with the experiments and giving groundbreaking discoveries to the science. During his instance at the university had the opportunity to work in molecular dynamics doing his internships in the Universitè de Lorraine in Nancy, France lead by Antonio Monari, Ph.D. studying DNA conformation through molecular dynamics and refined energies encountered using DFT as implemented in Gaussian. Leading by the motivation to discover the field of material science, during the last year he has been involved in the branch of Spintronic using python to study quantum transport in several systems focusing his research in DNA due to its transport characteristics developed recently with the help of two researchers José García, Ph.D. and Solmar Varela, Ph.D. «I became confident to participate in different areas of science through my experience in teamwork, and which I consider the key to success and broader knowledge.»

Skills and expertise
Python programming DFT Quantum transport / Spintronic Theoretical Chemistry  Computational Chemistry
Iskra Zambrano, Bs.C.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Iskra Zambrano, I am a native of Quinindé and I am currently a graduate of Physics from Yachay Tech University, in the time I studied, I discovered my passion for theoretical physics, especially in the area of condensed matter. At the beginning of 2018 I had the opportunity to carry out a research stay at the UNAM Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center in the city of Ensenada, in Mexico. During the aforementioned stay, I had the opportunity to study in greater depth everything related to spintronics. Since then I have collaborated on a research project on DNA polarization due to electron transfer through spin-orbit interaction (ISO) tunneling, of which we published an indexed paper and it has been part of my degree project. I am currently part of two other research projects, the first is a study of conductance in oligoacenes and the second on a model of electron-phonon interaction in DNA. Finally, I have been accepted to do a university master’s degree in Nanophysics and Advanced Materials at the Complutense University of Madrid.

Skills and expertise
Theoretical physics Molecular spintronics Condensed matter physics
See Publications
  • Spin-orbit interaction and spin selectivity for tunneling electron transfer in DNA
    Solmar Varela, Iskra Zambrano, Bertrand Berche, Vladimiro Mujica, and Ernesto Medina. Phys. Rev. B 101, 241410(R) – Published 11 June 2020 See Full-Paper
Mirian Auqui, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am Mirian Auqui, 22 years old, a pharmaceutical biochemistry student at the Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo. I am currently in the sixth semester and have been a teaching assistant in Instrumental Chemical Analysis. I have knowledge in food and clinical biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, as well as Microbiology. I joined the research group as a way to contribute scientifically through an interdisciplinary connection, contributing the knowledge I have acquired, as well as to achieve personal and professional growth.

Skills and expertise

Clinical Biochemistry Pharmacognosy Pharmaceutical Technology

Cristina Vaca, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Cristina Vaca is a fourth-year student of the Physics career at Yachay Tech, with a strong interest in the Materials Science research either experimentally or computationally. She has had experience as a professor and research assistant to develop these activities. In Colombia, she participated in Uniandes Summer Research Institute-2019 on Geometry and Theoretical Physics. She performed her pre-professional practices in the Condensed Matter Laboratory at Escuela Politecnica Nacional (EPN) working in the fabrication, synthesis, and characterization of few-layer graphene flakes, and the measurement of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic in the different surfaces of some materials. She focuses on many activities related to leadership, scientific dissemination, and social projects. Currently, she is using Python to study quantum transport in several systems.

Skills and expertise
Materials Science • Python • Wolfram Mathematica • Matlab • Java
Belén Maldonado, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a ninth semester student of biology at Yachay Tech University. In 2019, I did a research stay at the Genomic Sciences Center of UNAM, Mexico. I am also co-founder of the organization ConCiencia WY, which is a female empowerment program in STEM and scientific dissemination. Fishery coordinator at the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) Ecuador hub, is an organization that seeks sustainable alternatives in defense of the ocean. I am also a member of the SDG hub at Yachay Tech, which seeks to raise awareness and promote sustainable development goals.

Skills and expertise
Bioinformatics servers (eg Pymol, Beast and Mauve)  PCR and electrophoresis  R for application of Test Anova and Chi-square. 
Nayeli Gómez, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Nayeli Gómez, I am 20 years old and I am studying Biomedicine at the Yachay Tech. I am the General Coordinator at Made in YT, vice president of the Yachay Tech Mentoring Group and a member of the Yachay Tech Student Association (AEYT) in the Academic Affairs committee. In addition, I was the organizer of the SummerGamingYT charity event for the AEYT. Regarding projects, I participated in the Quito Regionals in the Hult Prize contest with the RemuEd project in 2019. And I am currently focused on a project that automates the administration of insulin in people with type 1 diabetes. I am interested in multidisciplinary projects, especially those related to the fields of Biomedicine, Computational Sciences and Nanotechnology.

Skills and expertise
Non-ionizing radiation • Finite element method • Languages: Spanish and English • Solve problems
Samantha Salazar, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Samantha Solange Salazar, I am studying Geology at Yachay Tech University, currently in 9th semester. My professional goals are learning everything that as possible as I can, improve my knowledge in themes such as: geology, social-environmental development and technology development. My main interests are: sustainable development with a social and environmental focus, the Health Effects of Climate Change, global warming, programming, literature, languages and digital Education.

Skills and expertise
Experienced using software Development (MyGeoApp summer project using Android studio) • Programming •  Illustrator and Design  
Bryan Guzmán, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Bryan Ismael Guzmán Cajamarca, I am a 10th semester student of Petrochemicals at Yachay Tech. In the period June-August 2019 I was at the Applied Chemistry Research Center (CIQA) in Saltillo, Mexico doing some research stays in the myrcene miniemulsion polymerization project under the supervision of the PhD. Esther Treviño, in order to develop biodegradable adhesives. In this project I worked on the search for initiators that could activate myrcene and be able to achieve high conversions in the shortest possible time. In addition, I performed tests for the amount of solids and particle diameter to determine the degree of conversion. Finally, since June 2020 I am in the preparation of a review under the supervision of the PhD. Rose Mary Michell, which is my degree project, in which I focus on the use of recycled PET as a polymer matrix and the study of its mechanical properties when mixed with other polymers.

Skills and expertise
Applied Chemistry • Polymerization
Andrés Hidalgo, Physics.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Andrés Hidalgo and I am a graduate student in Physics at Yachay Tech University. I have a passion for theoretical physics but I like to be multidisciplinary and involve other sciences in order to solve problems. In 2019 I had the opportunity to work at SIMULAB of the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litorial investigating the magnetoconductance properties of graphene, theoretically, and that same year I was able to work in the condensed matter laboratory of the Escuela Politécnica Nacional analyzing the properties of graphene obtained by electrochemical means, experimentally. In 2020 I traveled to Santiago de Chile as part of a Summer School to study the propagation of a spin wave in a geometrically modified medium. I am currently investigating the presence of 2D plasmons in doped graphene and was selected to be part of Qubit x Qubit, a quantum computing program taught by IBM.

Skills and expertise
Matlab • Python • Physics
Andrea Sanchez, Bachelor Degree.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a graduate of the National University of Chimborazo as a Bachelor of Physical and Sports Rehabilitation, interested in the field of oncological rehabilitation, so my thesis topic was focused on lymphedema after breast cancer. Currently I work independently, and I am studying the Diploma in «Intensive care unit for physiotherapists». I am interested in research in the field of health, since I have observed a significant backwardness in Ecuador, so I want to contribute with knowledge for society.

Skills and expertise
 Oncological physiotherapy • Traumatological Physiotherapy • Basic knowledge in EKG • Orthopedic manual therapy (OMT)
Alejandro Senges, Degree Degree.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Alejandro Sengés. I am 23 years old and I am a 10th semester student of Polymer Engineering. My main interests are towards materials science, especially what involves the development of composites based on biopolymers. In 2019 I did a stay at the Center for Research in Applied Chemistry, located in Saltillo, Mexico. During that time I worked on a project focused on the catalytic degradation of polyolefins to obtain fuel. I have been a teaching and research assistant at Yachay Tech University.

Skills and expertise
 Natural Polymers •  Composite Biomaterials •  PRO II • AutoCAD
Henrry Secaira, Biologist.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Henry Secaira Morocho. I graduated from Yachay Tech University as a Biologist with Magna Cum Laude honor. During my undergrad, I had the opportunity to work on various interdisciplinary research projects that lead me to pursue a MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. When I took my first biology courses, I wanted to become a wet lab researcher. Nevertheless, that idea changed when I took a Ecology and Evolution course that made me realize how different research areas can be applied to give insights into a biological problem. This idea of interdisciplinarity led me to develop a stochastic model for the spatial interactions between myeloid and tumor cells during early stages of non-small cell lung cancer development at the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) held at Arizona State University. Was during a MTBI class where I was introduced to bioinformatics. When I returned to Yachay Tech, I had the opportunity to work on two research projects that focused on the evolutionary dynamics of spore coat proteins in Bacillales and antiphage defense systems in Ralstonia solanacearum. These research projects at the interface of ecology, evolution, genomics, statistics, and bioinformatics made me realize that I wanted to become an interdisciplinary researcher. My dream is to do cutting-edge research that combines wet and dry lab techniques. As for the wet lab part, I have experience on basic molecular techniques that I learned during two internships at a molecular biology laboratory and a synthetic biology laboratory, respectively. Furthermore, I also worked on a research project that focused on the serology detection of bovine Neosporosis. Currently, I am studying a MSc in BIoinformatics and Computational Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and I won a research scholarship to develop a project that focuses on the network analysis of deep sequencing data to understand the adaptive responses of viral populations to varying environments. My interests lie at the interface of ecology, evolution, statistics, biomathematics, bioinformatics, and genomics.

Skills and expertise

Python • R •  Unix applied to genomic data •  Genomic data analysis •  Molecular evolution. 

 

See Publications
  • Spatial Dynamics of Myeloid-Tumor Cell Interactions During Early Non-Small Adenocarcinoma Development
    Arie Gurin, Peter Manosalvas, Luis Perez, Henry Secaira, Caleb Ignace, Viswanathan Arunachalam, Carlos Castillo-Garsow and Adrian Smith. Arizona State University See Full-Paper
  • Serology for Neosporosis, Q fever and Brucellosis to assess the cause of abortion in two dairy cattle herds in Ecuador
    Changoluisa, D., Rivera-Olivero, I.A., Echeverria, G. et al. Serology for Neosporosis, Q fever and Brucellosis to assess the cause of abortion in two dairy cattle herds in Ecuador. BMC Vet Res 15, 194 (2019). See Full-Paper
  • Diversity and Evolutionary Dynamics of Antiphage Defense Systems in Ralstonia solanacearum Species Complex
    Castillo JA, Secaira-Morocho H, Maldonado S and Sarmiento KN (2020) Diversity and Evolutionary Dynamics of Antiphage Defense Systems in Ralstonia solanacearum Species Complex. Front. Microbiol. 11:961. See Full-Paper
  • Diversity and evolutionary dynamics of spore-coat proteins in spore-forming species of Bacillales
    Henry Secaira-Morocho, José A. Castillo, Adam Driks. MICROBIAL GENOMICS See Full-Paper
Diana León Domínguez, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a final year student of Biochemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Cuenca. I participated for a year as a research assistant in the «Medicinal Plants» project, in the microalgae laboratory. This led me to choose the topic of my degree work, evaluating the antioxidant activity of microalgae, which I am currently doing. I am also the founder of REJUC (Red Ecuatoriana de Juventud Científica), which aims to disseminate science in Ecuador and cooperation between young students and scientific.

Skills and expertise
Biochemistry • Phytochemistry • Pharmaceutical technology • Microbiology • Pharmacology
Emily Gallardo, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Emily Daniela Gallardo Andrade and I´m in the 10nth semester of biomedicine at Yachay Tech. Throughout my undergraduate career, I performed as the assistant professor in the subject Signal Theory, in which I achieved better skills in signaling used for biomedical applications. I also have participated in research projects of Silver Nanoparticles at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Ecuador (ESPE). I could participate in many social volunteering programs to motivate children to get interested in science. Later, I could obtain experience in the internship at BAYOMED Cia. Ltda. Where I was able to develop abilities in metrology, biomedical instrumentation, and equipment. I am an active member of the Bioengineering Club of Yachay Tech, in which I have had the opportunity to coordinate and participate in many multidisciplinary events. Currently, I am developing a paper in Synthesis of Palladium-silver nanoparticles-alginate nanocomposite beads, intending to optimize and apply as a strong antimicrobial agent.

Skills and expertise
Biomedical Metrology Nanoparticle Synthesis Laboratory Equipment Python programming
Carlos Veloz, Chemical Engineer.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Carlos Eduardo Veloz Marmolejo, I have recently graduated as a chemical engineer at Yachay Tech University and received the honorary mention of Magna Cum Laude. My research area is wastewater treatment and neural networks for modeling designs. Through my academic years, I had the opportunity to work as a trainee in many laboratories, including EMAPA-Ibarra and Quevepalma, where I developed theoretical skills into practice. Also, I performed twice as an assistant professor in the subject of Chemistry I. Currently, I am working on a paper based on my thesis project for the Wastewater Treatment Plant of Ibarra.  I am the sports vice president of the Chemical Engineering Students Association (AEIQ-YT) and an active member of Applied Investigation Group of Materials and Processes (GIAMP) at Yachay Tech.

Skills and expertise

Process Analysis and Simulation Laboratory Equipment Matlab Programming

Carlos Jimenez, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

He is Carlos Michael Jiménez Muñoz, a last year Chemistry student at Yachay Tech University. His areas of study are focused on theoretical and computational chemistry, however, throughout his professional training, he also has acquired skills on experimental chemistry. He has achieved certifications focused on chemistry, chemical engineering, quality control, computer programming, and idioms. Michael has participated in multidisciplinary research projects and as part of internship programs, he was a laboratory assistant at the School of Chemical and Applied Sciences of Yachay Tech University. As professional experience, he worked as a laboratory analyst for «PTAR Ibarra» (Ibarra Wastewater Treatment Plant) and for «Multianalytica Cia. Ltda». Furthermore, he is a member of the Catalysis Theory and Spectroscopy Investigation Group (CATS). Currently, he is developing new research projects focused on computational chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Skills and expertise

Theoretical and Computational Chemistry • Bioinorganic Chemistry • Laboratory Equipment • Python programming

Fernando Arévalo, Bachelor Degree.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Hugo Fernando Arévalo Moreno was born on May 27, 1998 in the city of Riobamba. He graduated as a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Physical Therapy and Sports from the National University of Chimborazo. After completing his studies, he works as a Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapist in two private establishments belonging to Riobamba. Faced with the visible panorama that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic would unleash, he decided to graduate in Intensive Care Unit Care in the city of Cali, Colombia, along with other training related to the medical branch, to later join the first line of care at the Pan-American Clinic in Quito.

Skills and expertise

 Communication •  Creativity • Artistic design • Organization

David Altamirano, Bachelor Degree.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am David Altamirano, I am 23 years old. I am studying the last semester of the Physics career at Yachay Tech University. I am working on my degree project in the field of Cosmic Inflation, specifically in cosmological perturbations. I also find myself collaborating on another project closely related to my thesis. My interests are Cosmology, Astrophysics, Dynamic Systems and life itself. Throughout my career I have participated in innovation contests, winning a couple of them, all of an institutions. I use Python and Mathematica and am in the process of learning VASP. I am very interested in knowing, both about my field of study and about other fields, but I am more interested in sharing this knowledge with other people, especially with younger people so that we are more and more in science.

Skills and expertise

 Theoretical physicist • Inflationary Cosmology • Cosmological Perturbations • Wolfram Mathematica.

Cristina Rubio, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

Cristina is an undergraduated chemistry student passionate about scientific research in the area of ​​Organic and Computational chemistry, currently focused on research with graphene applied to water condensation. Among her main achievements, she has led several programs and initiatives for female empowerment, scientific dissemination, compliance with sustainable development goals, animal protection and environmental care. She has also been a teaching assistant at the School of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, has received certifications in Probability and Statistics courses in the Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program at Harvard University and Entrepreneurship program in STEM by Women in STEM Entrepreneurship, WISE Latin America. She has also worked from a young age in continuous leveling centers, directed classes and training for entry to higher education in Ecuador, teaching in areas such as physics, mathematics and chemistry. Cristina firmly believes in transdisciplinarity for the development of ties between academia and industry. Finally, she works in the social project Water-Y as COO seeking to democratize access to water worldwide.

Skills and expertise

Materials science • Organic chemistry • Green chemistry • Graphene • Python • R • Management and group management • Leadership.

Pedro Cajilima, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a senior student at Yachay Tech University, majoring in Information Technology Engineering. I spent eleven years living in New York where I became fluent in both english and spanish before graduating from Sleepy Hollow High School and moving to Ecuador. Since then I’ve become familiar with various programming languages such as Java, Python, C/C++, Matlab/Octave, PostgreSQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, LaTeX, as well as bash programming and working with Linux-based systems. I am a strong supporter of open source software and believe that it can be a powerful tool in education and in research. My interests lie in bridging the gap between science and society by combining research to real world applications that can have strong social impacts in benefit of all life. Currently, I am working on my dissertation project that involves using artificial intelligence and HPC techniques for autonomous vehicle training through simulations. My goal is to continue working with AI as I dive into the world of investigation, computer science and software engineering.

Skills and expertise

Programming languages • Bilingual fluency in both english and spanish • Web development • Working with Linux-based systems • AI.

Juan Riofrío, Bachelor Degree.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Juan Riofrío, Information Technology Engineer from Yachay Tech University, Ecuador. My thesis «Forecasting the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of Ecuador: A Comparative Study of Predictive Models» was published in the International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, being the first student graduated from Yachay Tech under the modality of «Scientific paper». I was a teaching assistant twice at Yachay Tech, helping the professors in Algorithms and Software Engineering. I am passionate about research, I have participated in conferences three times (ICAT2019, CIT2020 and TICEC2020). My main field of interest is Data Science and I expect to keep learning more about this wonderful and useful topic. I want to be a researcher and teacher to help Ecuador develop as a country.

Skills and expertise

Data Science • Neural Networks • Machine learning • Artificial Intelligence Electronics.

See Publications
  • Forecasting the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of Ecuador: A Comparative Study of Predictive Models
    Juan Riofrío, Oscar Chang, E. J. Revelo-Fuelagán, Diego H. Peluffo-Ordóñez. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology See Full-Paper
Isaac Arias, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

I am a Biomedical Engineer student at Yachay Tech University. I consider that research in Biomedical and Medical area is a powerful tool to improve healthcare systems and give scientists the possibility to reduce the gap between academy and industry. My interest in these fields has led me to be involved in technology-based research related to Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Prosthesis Design and Nanomedicine. The idea of being an interdisciplinary professional has taken me to obtain certificates by completing courses at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh in Introduction to Programming with MATLAB® and Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks, respectively. I believe that helping society is one of the purposes of knowledge, due to this I am not afraid about working in projects outside my comfort zone. To illustrate this, I am the CEO of the social project «TierraFertil», an e-commerce platform that aims to democratize the agricultural economy, elected as the winner project in «The Innovator Science Challenge» 2020 edition, a competition organized by the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico (IPN). Currently, I work as collaborator in the ConCiencia WY Organization (Ecuador) and the Hub Ciencia Emprende network (Mexico). I am member of the IEEE – Yachay Tech Student Branch, SDG Student Hub Yachay Tech and the Biomedical Engineering Club. Finally, I am writing a paper in “Gold Nanoparticles as Optical and Electrochemical Sensors Applied to

DNA Detection for Early Cancer Diagnosis” and another in “The effect of N,N- dimethyltryptamine found in ayahuasca tea for treatment of neurological diseases and adult neurogenesis”.
Skills and expertise

MATLAB®, Python, Java. • Abaqus, Adobe Illustrator, OpenSim. • Biosensors, Biochemistry, Pharmacology. • Adaptability, Empathy, Problem Solving.

Maria Jose Baez, Msc.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Maria Jose Baez Calderon, born and raised in Ibarra city. Back in 2015, I moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, USA to do my undergrad studies in Biological Sciences with a minor in Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I just finished my Master´s Degree on Medical Biotechnology at the same academic institution. During my master’s studies, I worked in the Immunology Lab as a research assistant, and then moved to a consulting firm in the field. I am extremely passionate about the broadness of biology and its relationship to medicine. My years of lab practice allowed me to perfect experimental skills needed in biomedical research such as blots, arrays, DNA isolation, and protein purification as well. Now I am off to the next adventure: discovering the «behinds´´ of biomedical devices and why not designing one? I am excited to be part of MIND, and curious about what great things we all as researchers can come up with.

Skills and expertise

PCR, Western blotting, IR spectroscopy, DNA isolation, protein purification, cell growth, SDS-PAGE, Nucleotide BLAST, Protein BLAST.

Mayra Quinga, Degree Student.
Young Researcher of MIND – Research Group

My name is Mayra Vanessa Quinga Nasimba. Student of Biology at Yachay Tech University. I am passionate to work on various interdisciplinary research projects that lead me to pursue molecular biology studies. I had the opportunity to participate in research projects ranging from a sampling of Espeletia pycnophylla for analysis of carbon and oxygen isotopes used to register of High Andean ecosystems and climate change in Ecuador, passing by growth curves in algae and nitrifying bacteria, monitoring, and evaluation of different hyperintensive culture conditions of white shrimp litopeanaeus vannamei based on the use of molecular tools such as PCR and proteomics, this last I had to undertake it at Omics Biotechnology Center in Ecuador, finally reaching Molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques applied to DNA sequences. My titling project is about Phylogeography of hummingbird by means of DNA analysis and taxonomic classification of Chlorostilbon sp. an unexpected specie in the Chota valley, Ecuador. During my free time, I dedicate myself to volunteering at SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador; I was member of the organizing committee of events to diffusion of science and technology such as the Hult Prize at Yachay Tech, XLII National Biology Conference, and Seventh edition REDU congress. In addition, I promote Female Empowerment in science and technology.

Skills and expertise

Research and techniques to molecular biology, botany, phylogeography, Mega, jmodeltest, seaview, BIORAD CFX_MANAGER, notion in Pyton and Matlab programming.

See Publications
  • Gene therapy in liver diseases focus on Adeno-Associate Virus Vector (AAV) and Virus-Like Particles (VLPS)
    Quinga Nasimba Mayra Vanessa and Quiroz Cabascango Lizbeth Xiomara In commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt See Full-Paper