|Mariel Vazquez is a Professor of Mathematics, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UC Davis. She is the 2014 recipient of the Mohammed Dahleh Distinguished Lectureship at UC Santa Barbara, a 2012 recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and a 2011 NSF CAREER Awardee. The PECASE honored her “for excellent interdisciplinary and international research at the interface of mathematics and biology, and for creativity and dedication to recruiting, training, and mentoring, and helping students from underrepresented groups achieve their goals.” Vazquez has served on the Advisory Board at the National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), and is currently associate editor of the newly-formed journal Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. In recent years she has been actively involved with SACNAS as co-organizer of three Scientific Symposium Sessions, as a speaker and mentor, she has also helped secure funding for mathematics undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs to attend and present their work at the annual meeting. Vazquez has also been involved in organizing the NSF Modern Math Workshop, sponsored by the agency’s mathematics institutes, and was their keynote speaker in 2012. Other notable engagements include a plenary lecture at the 8th Australia-New Zealand Mathematics Convention (Melbourne, Australia), the 2014 Mohammed Dahleh Distinguished Lecture (UCSB), a 2014 Distinguished PIMS lecture in Mathematical Biology (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), and invited lectures at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics (NIMBioS, University of Tennessee at Knoxville), the 2013 Sonia Kovalevsky Math Day (University of Texas at Austin), and the 2010 BaMBA Conference (Stanford University).
Vazquez obtained a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and a Ph.D. from Florida State University, where she worked with De Witt Sumners and was supported by fellowships from DGAPA UNAM and the Program for Mathematics and Molecular Biology/Burroughs Wellcome Fund. After receiving her doctorate, she held appointments as a Postdoctoral Fellow/Visiting Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley working with Rainer Sachs. While at Berkeley, Vazquez received an Exxon Mobil Project NExT Fellowship. She joined the faculty at San Francisco State University in 2005, and the UC Davis faculty as a CAMPOS scholar in July 2014. Vazquez has held numerous visiting positions, including appointments in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Oxford (UK), the Molecular Biology Department CID/CSIC (Barcelona), and the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, (Minneapolis). Her research focuses on the applications of topological and discrete methods to the study of DNA, with an emphasis on the topological changes affected by enzymes such as topoisomerases and site-specific recombinases, as well as on the study of chromosomal rearrangements in radiation cytogenetics and cancer.