Our laboratory uses the sea cucumber, Holothuria glaberrima, as a model system to study different aspects of organogenesis and regeneration as well as comparative neuronal anatomy and evolution. Sea cucumbers, which comprise the group Holothurians, are coelomate organisms of the phylum Echinodermata. They are closely related to chordates but, in contrast to chordates, exhibit an impressive ability to regenerate complex structures. In Holothurians, the regenerative process is evidenced following evisceration in which all major viscera are discarded. In H. glaberrima, regeneration of the intestine is completed in a 4-week period. Our overall goal is to use this model system to understand the process of organogenesis and how the multiplicity of cell types are generated and assembled into a functional organ.


June 1985 - December 1985

Visiting Research Fellow

Department of Pharmacology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

5-45 Yushima I-Chome, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113, Japan

November 1984 - May 1985

Visiting Research Fellow

Department of Physiology, Flinders Medical School

Bedford Park, 5042 South Australia, Australia

1981 - 1984

Postdoctoral Researcher

Institut d'Embryologie, CNRS et College de France

Nogent-sur-Marne, France

1976 - 1981

Graduate Degree (PhD)

Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Harvard University, Massachusetts, United States of America

1972 - 1976

Bachelor's Degree (B.Sc.)

University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus

Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

José E. García-Arrarás, PhD

Department of Biology

Julio García Díaz Building, JGD 220 

University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931 

Phone: (787) 764-0000 Ext. 88152

Email: jegarcia@hpcf.upr.edu

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Cellular Aspects of Intestinal Regeneration

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Molecular Aspects of Intestinal Regeneration

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H. glaberrima transcriptomics

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Regenerative Neurogenesis

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Echinoderm Nervous System

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Echinoderm Intestinal Microbiome

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MARC Program
MARC Program

The MARC Program for undergraduate students is research-training program sponsored by the "National Institute of General Medical Sciences" (NIGMS) aimed to the scientific formation of a selection of the best in sciences. Scientific research constitutes a fundamental part of this training.

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The Increasing Diversity in Interdisciplinary BD2K (IDI-BD2K) project will train groups of interdisciplinary students to analize biomedical Big Data.

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NEURO-ID Program
NEURO-ID Program

NeuroID is a program designed to increase diversity in Neuroscience by providing opportunities to undergraduate students interested in this area and enhance their scientific knowledge, research capability and social responsibility.

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RISE Program
RISE Program

The Río Piedras RISE Program is committed to increasing student interest in the biomedical sciences. It is also committed to assuring that student participation in research is a highly productive experience that encourages the pursuit of doctoral and postdoctoral experiences and also strengthens the likelihood of their success as scientists.

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For any inquiries, questions or interest in our research, please contact us through the following:


787-764-0000 Ext. 88152

 jegarcia@hpcf.upr.edu  (Dr. García-Arrarás)