Welcome New ACBS Faculty and Staff Members

March 16, 2021

Dr. Margie Sanchez-VegaDr. Margie Michelle Sánchez-Vega

Professor of Practice, Animal and Food Sciences

Dr. Sánchez is teaching several ACBS courses including, ACBS 220: Introduction to Dairy Science, ACBS 405/505: Principles of Livestock Health Management, and ACBS 471/571: Risk Assessment. She began her position in Jan 2021 and is excited to be back in the classroom, though virtual for now, and connecting with students.

Dr. Sánchez was born and raised in Puerto Rico, mostly in Bayamón, near the capital city San Juan. She holds a BS in Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Science with a concentration in Science and Technology from Louisiana State University, a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, and a PhD in Food Science, with a concentration in Dairy Foods technology from Louisiana State University.

Prior to her ACBS position, she was the Academic Director of Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Capital Area Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has also served as the food technology and hygiene academic program coordinator, a full time professor and a USDA/NIFA grant primary administrator at Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Gurabo Campus in Puerto Rico. Prior to that, she was the CEO of Viandharina, LLC, a frozen food processing plant with its own farm that provided the main raw materials (plantains and breadfruit) for their main products: frozen tostones. This company was located in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Dr. Sánchez is enjoying her time in Arizona and says, “Arizona has proven to be a place like nowhere I have ever been. It is beautiful and I am enjoying the views of the dessert, the diversity in plants, and enjoying the wildlife. Especially those parading through my backyard!”

Dr. Chi ZhouDr. Chi Zhou

Assistant Professor

Dr. Zhou’s lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the fetal sex-specific dysregulation of fetal endothelial function in complicated pregnancies-associated fetal endothelial dysfunction and future health risks of the offspring. Her research utilizes multiple model systems including human tissues, human cell models, and in vivo animal models.

Endothelial cells are a thin single layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. Dysregulation of endothelial cell function is associated with many cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Children born to complicated pregnancies (such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes) have increased risks of adult-onset cardiovascular disorders later in life, suggesting there is programming of fetal vascular/endothelial systems before birth.

Dr. Zhou was born in Jiujiang, China, a city with more than 2,000 years of history, located right next to the Mount Lushan UNESCO Global Geopark. She obtained her PhD degree from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, where she learned how to ski and regularly visited the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Her PhD research focused on 1) defining the “normal” transcriptomic profile of early porcine embryos, and 2) characterizing the impact of in-vitro manipulations on embryonic quality and the potential pregnancy outcomes.

After completing her PhD, Dr. Zhou, joined the Perinatal Research Lab, Department of Ob/Gyn, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a postdoctoral fellow, and later as an Assistant Scientist (Research Assistant Professor). Her research focused on fetoplacental vascular growth and development, particularly those relevant to pregnancy complications.

At UArizona, Dr. Zhou’s research aims to reveal the mechanisms controlling the complicated pregnancy-induced fetal sex-specific endothelial dysfunction in female and male fetal endothelial cells. Specifically, she is interested in 1) studying the sexual dimorphisms of complicated pregnancies-associated fetal endothelial dysfunction, 2) exploring the role of microRNAs in complicated pregnancies-induced fetal endothelial dysfunction, and 3) examining the effect of maternal obesity on fetal endothelial function and future cardiovascular risks of the offspring. Results from these studies will contribute to the identification of novel biomarkers or therapeutic targets for adult-onset cardiovascular disease in children born to complicated pregnancies.

About coming to the UArizona she says “I am amazed by the highly collaborative, multidisciplinary, and supportive research environment, as well as the infrastructure and institutional resources available to students, educators, and researchers at the University of Arizona. I am very excited to join this great community. Also, after living in the north for 12 years, I am very much looking forward to the warm winters in Tucson.”

Corrina GilCorrina “Corrie” K. Gil

Finance and Operations Manager, ACBS

Corrie Gil was Born in Galveston, Texas and spent her youth on farms and ranches in Texas, Montana, and Wyoming. She received both her BA in Political Science and her Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Finance & Economic Development from the University of Texas, Arlington. She has most recently worked in finance and development positions with the Regional Transportation Authority, the Town of Marana, and the City of Tucson.

In her new position, as ACBS Finance and Operations Manager, she is responsible for the financial management and oversight of ACBS human resource activities and facilities, as well as, conducting  financial strategic planning, cost-benefit analysis, and feasibility studies. Corrie is excited to be a part of the UArizona and being able to support scientific endeavors that prepare the world for the future challenges ahead.