Dioscaris R. Garcia, Ph.D.

Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD

Ph.D., Molecular Pharmacology, Brown University, Providence, RI (2005-2012).  Thesis:  Sigma-2 Receptor-Mediated Cytotoxicity and Calcium Signaling: Evidence for Bifurcating Pathways. Studied the signaling pathway of the Sigma-2 Receptor through the characterization of synthetic compounds.  Provided evidence for a bifurcating pathway which lead to a cytotoxic pathway leading to apoptosis, and a non-cytotoxic pathway modulated by calcium signaling.

B.S., Microbiology, Minor in Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (2000-2004).  Employed knowledge of molecular biology and microbiology in synergy with pharmacognosy, in the discovery of bioactive secondary metabolites from marine bacteria.

Dr. Garcia is an experienced pharmacologist and microbiologist specializing in cell signaling and infectious diseases. Through a diverse multidisciplinary approach, he has amassed extensive experience in drug development and characterization at both the academic and industrial level. He earned his doctorate in Molecular Pharmacology at Brown University in the prestigious Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology Department under the mentorship of Dr. Wayne Bowen. He has received recognition for his work in the characterization of the Sigma-2 Receptor and his leadership and dedication to teaching. These attributes earned Dr. Garcia a full-membership induction into the Sigma Xi Society. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology from the University of Rhode Island (URI), with a minor in Chemistry. His work on antibiotic development led to the discovery of active compounds against the then emerging threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Currently, he has a dual-appointment as a Visiting Scientist at Brown University and a Senior Research Scientist at Rhode Island Hospital where he is the recipient of the Stein-Bellet Fellowship in the Diane N. Weiss Center for Orthopaedic Trauma Research. He is an active researcher in novel cancer targets and therapeutics, as well as the development and characterization of antibiotic-independent antimicrobial surface coatings.

Director of Biomedical Research and Operations, Material Science Associates, North Kingston, RI (2014-Present).

Associate, Material Science Associates, North Kingston, RI (2013-2014).

Consultant, BioIntraface, Inc., North Kingstown, RI (2013-Present).

Stein-Bellet Research Fellow

Sr. Research Scientist, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI (2013-Present).

  • Characterization of anti-microbial coatings on orthopedic implants.

  • Characterization of bacterial adherence on spinal implant materials.

  • Characterization of bacterial adherence pattern on orthopedic explants.

  • Confocal and Electron Microscopy

  • Bacterial culture

  • Coating synthesis

  • Lead trainer and student supervisor

  • Grant writing

  • Laboratory administration

Visiting Scientist, Brown University, Providence, RI (2013-Present).

Post Doctoral Scholar, Brown University, Providence, RI (2012-2013).

Characterized the calcium signaling kinetics of the Sigma-2 Receptor compounds MV1036A and SN79 and their role in identifying a possible Sigma-2 Receptor subtypes.

  • Served as research instructor for incoming graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Managed laboratory logistics and day to day operations.

  • Generated and edited protocols.

  • Supervised undergraduate research projects.

  • Monitored lab safety and trained incoming laboratory members in the use of laboratory equipment.

  • Senior cell culture and aseptic technique trainer.

Teaching Assistant, Brown University, Providence, RI (2006-2011).

  • CEBN0910: Nervous System Function in Health and Disease

  • BIOL1116: Principles of Exercise Physiology

  • BIOL 0800: Principles of Physiology

Research Associate, Process Development, Amgen Inc., West Greenwich, RI (2004 – 2005).

  • Characterized Bench-Top Purification Systems for their use as small scale purification systems in the production of Enbrel® (etanercept).

  • Optimized Ultrafiltration/Diafiltration Systems to increase the protein yield from raw product originating from the main production plant.

  • Utilized AKTA Liquid Chromatography.

  • Systems to purify the protein product of the Utrafiltration/Diafiltration Systems.

  • Edited and optimized protocols relating to the use of Bench-Top Purification Systems in the manufacturing of Enbrel® (etanercept).

  • Produced and optimized buffers according to the exact specifications of protocols directly leading towards the production of Enbrel® (etanercept) in both small and large scales.

Research Associate, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (2003-2004).

  • Studied the Micromonospora Sp. population in the marine sediment of Fisher’s Island Sound through the use of phylogenetic studies.

  • Assayed for the production of bioactive secondary metabolites from Gram-positive marine bacteria through novel screening methods.

  • Developed gram-positive selective medium for the culture of marine bacteria.

  • Developed scale-up protocol for the culture and purification of Streptomycete Sp. and Micromonospora Sp. bacteria cultured from the gram-positive selective medium.

  • Designed proliferation protocols for bacteria cultured from Fisher’s Island Sound.

  • Developed genetic and morphological Identification scheme for bacteria which were found to be producers of bioactive secondary metabolites.

  • Developed DNA extraction methods for Micromonospora Sp. And Streptomycete Sp.

Research Associate, Hybrigene LLC., West Kingston, RI (2002-2003)

  • Tested various experimental bi-directional promoters using the genetic model Arabidopsis thaliana.

  • Assisted in projects related to the production and analysis of transgenic turf grass and rice.

Garcia, Dioscaris R., Bowen, Wayne, Van Dort, Marcian. Characterization of Sigma-2 Receptor Ligand MV1036A Leading Towards a Non-Cytotoxic Signaling Pathway (in progress).

Garcia, Dioscaris R., Bowen, Wayne. Evidence for a Sigma-2 Receptor Bifurcating Pathway Leading Towards Apoptosis and Non-Cytotoxic Calcium Signaling (in progress).

Garcia, Dioscaris R., Bowen, Wayne. Role of Sigma-2 Receptors in Cancer (in progress).

Nhiem Tran, Phong A. Tran, Dioscaris R. Garcia, John D. Jarrell, Julie B. Engiles, Nathan P. Thomas, Matthew D. Young, Roman A. Hayda and Christopher T. Born.  Development of a Goat Model of Osteomyelitis for the Assessment of Bacterial Resistant Intramedullary Nailing Systems: A Safety Evaluation (in progress).

Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD., Alexandra Zega, Ayano Kondo, David Deckey, Alan Daniels, MD, John Jarrell, PhD., Craig Eberson, MD, Roman A. Hayda, MD, Christopher T. Born. Characterization of Adherence Patterns and Biofilm Density of Commonly Encountered Bacterial Pathogens to Spinal Instrumentation of Differing Compositions (in progress).

Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD., Henry Fox, Caryn Cobb, Janice Havasy Alan Daniels, MD, John Jarrell, PhD., Craig Eberson, MD, Roman A. Hayda, MD, Christopher T. Born.  Development of a Rapid-Detection Assay for the Visualization and Quantification of Bacterial Colonization and Biofilm Formation on Orthopaedic Trauma Explants (in progress).

Nhiem Tran, Michael N. Kelley, Phong A. Tran, Dioscaris R. Garcia, John D. Jarrell, Roman A. Hayda and Christopher T. Born.  Silver Doped Titanium Oxide – PDMS Hybrid Coating Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis Growth on PEEK.  Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2015 Apr;49:201-9.

Socha AM, Garcia, D., Sheffer R. Rowley DC.  Antibiotic bisanthraquinones produced by a streptomycete isolated from a cyanobacterium associated with Ecteinascidia turbinata. Journal of Natural Products. 2006 Jul;69(7):1070-3.

Podium Talk, Spine Research Society 2015, Minneapolis (August 2015):  Characterization of the Adherence Patterns and Biofilm Density of Commonly Encountered Bacterial Pathogens to Spinal Instrumentation of Differing Compositions.  Dioscaris R. Garcia, Ph.D., Alan H. Daniels, MD, Alexandra M. Zega, David G. Deckey, Ayano Kondo, John D. Jarrell, PhD., Craig P. Eberson, MD, Andrew Green, MD, Roman A. Hayda, MD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Poster Presentation, 2nd International PEEK Meeting, Washington D.C. (April 2015):  Silver Doped Titanium Oxide – PDMS Hybrid Coating Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis Growth on PEEK. Nhiem Tran, Michael N. Kelley, Phong A. Tran, Dioscaris R. Garcia, Alan Daniels, John D. Jarrell, Roman A. Hayda and Christopher T. Born.

Poster Presentation, 2015 Annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day in the Biological Sciences, Providence, RI (April 2015):  Adherence Patterns and Biofilm Density of Commonly Encountered Bacterial Pathogens to Spinal Instrumentation of Differing Compositions with Silver-Doped Polydimethylsiloxane/Titanium Dioxide Coatings. Alexandra Zega, David G. Deckey, Henry M. Fox, Ayano Kondo, Artym Hayda, Dioscaris Garcia, PhD, Alan Daniels, MD, Craig Eberson, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Poster Presentation, 2015 Annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day in the Biological Sciences, Providence, RI (April 2015):  Development of an in vitro Co-Culture Model for the Detection and Quantification of Biofilm on Orthopaedic Explants. Caryn B.C. Cobb, Henry M. Fox, Janice A. Havasy, David G. Deckey, Artym V. Hayda, Alan Daniels, MD, Craig Eberson, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Poster Presentation, New England Science Symposium, Boston, MA  (April 2015):  Development of an in vitro Co-Culture Model for the Detection and Quantification of Biofilm on Orthopaedic Explants, Caryn B.C. Cobb, Henry M. Fox, Janice A. Havasy, David G. Deckey, Artym V. Hayda, Alan Daniels, MD, Craig Eberson, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD, Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Poster Presentation, 2015 Annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day in the Biological Sciences, Providence, RI, (April 2015):  A Silver-Doped TiO2-PDMS Hybrid Coating to Deter Infection in Orthopaedic Surgery.  David G. Deckey, Alexandra Zega, Henry M. Fox, Ayano Konda, Dioscaris Garcia, PhD, Alan Daniels, MD, Craig Eberson, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Poster Presentation, 2015 Annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day in the Biological Sciences, Providence, RI (April 2015):  Development of a Rapid-Detection Assay for the Visualization and Quantification of Bacterial Colonization and Biofilm Formation on Orthopaedic Trauma Explants. Henry M. Fox, Janice Havasy, Caryn B. Cobb, David G. Deckey, Ayano Kondo, Artym V. Hayda, Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD, Alan Daniels, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Podium Talk, Foundation for Orthopaedic Trauma Research, Las Vegas, NV (March 2015):  Development of a Rapid-Detection Assay for the Visualization and Quantification of Bacterial Colonization and Biofilm Formation on Orthopaedic Trauma Explants. Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD., Henry Fox, Caryn Cobb, Janice Havasy Alan Daniels, MD, John Jarrell, PhD., Craig Eberson, MD, Roman A. Hayda, MD and Christopher T. Born.

Poster Presentation, Brown University Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium, Providence, RI (August 2014):  Visualization and Characterization of Bacterial Biofilm on Orthopaedic Trauma Explants, Henry M. Fox, David G. Deckey, Ayano Kondo, Artym V. Hayda, Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD, Alan Daniels, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Poster Presentation, Brown University Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium, Providence, RI (August 2014):  The Characterization of Biofilm Formation on Spinal Implants of Varying Compositions. David G. Deckey, Henry M. Fox, Ayano Kondo, Dioscaris Garcia, PhD, Alan Daniels, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Seminar Speaker, Orthopaedic Department Seminar, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI (January 2014):  Characterization of the Adherence Patterns of Staphylococcus aureus on Various Spinal Implant Materials. Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD, Alan Daniels, MD, Craig Eberson, MD, John D. Jarrell, PhD and Christopher T. Born, MD.

Invited Participant, Rally for Medical Research Hill Day, Washington D.C. (September 2013).

Invited Speaker, University of Rhode Island, 6th INBRE SURF Conference (July 2013).

Panelist, Morgan State University. 13th Annual Graduate Career Workshop (September 2012).

Guest Lecturer, Brown University (July 2012):  Principles of Pharmacology.

Brown University Undergraduate Honors Symposium (April 2012):  Characterization of Sigma-2 Mediated Signaling in Human Neuroblastoma. Jyotsna Mullur, Dioscaris Garcia and Wayne Bowen.

Brown University Undergraduate Honors Symposium (April 2012):  Sigma-2 Receptor-Activated of SPC Transiently Mobilizes [Ca2+]i in the SK-N-SH Neuroblastoma Cell Line. Vincent Pham, Dioscaris Garcia and Wayne Bowen.

Brown University Undergraduate Honors Symposium (May 2011):  Sigma-2 Receptor Expression in Proliferating Tumor Cells and Changes in Drug Sensitivity.  Emily Savoca, Dioscaris Garcia and Wayne Bowen.

Society for Neuroscience, 470.17 (November 2010): Sigma-2 Receptor-Mediated Apoptosis and Calcium Signaling: Are They Bifurcating Pathways.  Dioscaris Garcia, Christopher R. McCurdy and Wayne Bowen.

NABRIT Conference (March 2010):  Exploring the sigma-2 receptor-selective ligand SN79 as a tool for studying possible sigma-2 receptor heterogeneity. Dioscaris Garcia and Wayne Bowen.

NABRIT Conference (March 2008): Sphingosylphosphorylcholine promotes cell survival and proliferation parallel to sigma-2 receptor ligand CB-64D in Neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells. Dioscaris Garcia and Wayne Bowen.