Dr. Mariel Vazquez is a Professor of Mathematics, and of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and a CAMPOS Faculty Scholar at the University of California Davis. She is a mathematical biologist whose research focuses on the applications of topological and discrete methods to the study of DNA, with an emphasis on DNA packing and on the topological changes affected by enzymes, as well as on the study of chromosomal rearrangements in cancer. Her contributions are characterized by the use of tools from pure mathematics (knot theory, low-dimensional topology, graph theory) to the study of questions in molecular biology.

Dr Vazquez obtained her PhD in Mathematics in 2005 from Florida State University. She is inaugural fellow of the Association for Women in Mathematics and was the 2014 Mohammed Dahleh Distinguished Lecturer at UC Santa Barbara. She is recipient of the 2016 Blackwell-Tapia Prize, a 2012 U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and a 2011 NSF CAREER Award. 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.

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