Jesse Sambrano

       Mentor: Dr. Jessica Houston
  RISE Scholar since: Summer 2013



  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, New Mexico State University, Expected 2018
  • B.S. Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, 2011
  • B.S. Physics, University of Texas at El Paso, 2011
Research Interests:

  • Conventional cytometric methods have provided the foundation for higher levels of quantitative analysis. Time-resolved flow cytometry parallels that of conventional methods but also adds a new parameter, fluorescence lifetime, to identify and analyze rare events that might have gone undetected with a conventional cytometer. Our lab seeks to continuous develop bioinstrumentation that not only increases the sensitivity and selectivity of flow cytometers, but reducing complexity of these instruments concurrently. Tangentially related, with reducing complexity, we can reduce the footprint of cytometers by introducing microfluidic platforms into these instruments. Moreover, introducing a smaller yet more precise cell focusing mechanism, chances of capturing more cytometric events increases while reducing the size of photonics used to build these cytometers and concurrently reducing the optical axis length to ensure better accuracy and measurements. In addition, focusing cells through the micro capillary (~<500 µm, channel width) by hydrodynamic means, you can parallel cell/particle focusing with traveling acoustic waves with the assistance of a piezoceramic transducer that is driven at a given frequency. This permits the instrument to acquire acoustophoretic capabilities. This is significant for investigators that wish to characterize nanoparticles, analyze cell trafficking, metabolic mapping and drug re-purposing/discovery for example.
Teaching Experience and Interests:

  • Initially, my plans were to working in a secondary school teaching AP Chemistry when I began my undergraduate studies. I student-taught in a Pre-AP Chemistry course and completed alternative certification program at my first institution (not officially certified). As I advanced through my undergraduate studies, I felt that I wanted to teach in a university environment instead, thus influencing my decision to enter graduate school. I TA’ed for general chemistry labs (Chem 111) and a chemical engineering lab (CH E 111) during my first year in graduate school. My philosophies have changed from my short time student-teaching in high schools up until this point. Students have become excessively focused on making the grade rather than grasping the concepts of the course and paralleling that statement with regards to my experience teaching, memorization does not directly translate to comprehension. I’ve taken steps with students that I have taken under my wing to assure they understand what material is in front of them, why it’s there and how to critically think to apply the general fundamentals and navigate a situation that is not textbook example. And thus, many of the students I have mentored or TA’ed have done better than their counterparts in other labs and classes. My teaching skills and knowledge depth allow me to instruct in elementary to intermediate courses as of present time.

  • Jesus Sambrano earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Physics from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2011. He joined New Mexico State University in 2012 and is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with a research concentration in flow cytometry and related biophotonics under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Houston. Mr. Sambrano has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the honor of becoming a RISE Scholar. He was invited to give a talk at the 24th Cytometry Development Workshop and awarded a travel award as well as other various travel awards to disseminate his research aboard. His research has also won outstanding poster presentation awards and was recently awarded the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein F31 National Research Service Award. Jesus is a motivated individual whom has aspirations to obtain a Ph.D. and transition into a successful postdoctoral position. Mr. Sambrano’s ambition is ultimately transition to a faculty position.
Research Abstracts:

  • J.Sambrano, F. Fencl, D. Kalb, S. Graves, J.Houston. ‘Towards Acquiring Time-Resolved Measurements Using Microfluidic Flow Cytometry in a High-Throughput Acoustophoretic Environment’. SACNAS 2016, Long Beach, CA.
  • J. Sambrano, Y. Smagley, A. Chigaev, L.Sklar, J. Houston, ‘Towards the quantification of integrin conformation in human lymphoblastic cells using high-throughput, time-resolved flow cytometry’. ISAC/CYTO 2016, Seattle, WA.
  • J. Sambrano, Y. Smagley, A. Chigaev, L.Sklar, J. Houston, ‘High throughput and quantitative measurements of integrin conformational changes using fluorescence lifetime-dependent cytometry’. ISAC/CYTO 2015, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein F31 National Research Service Award
  • Outstanding Poster Presentation-ISAC/CYTO 2016
  • SACNAS 2016 Travel Award
Service activities:

  • Alliance for Minority Participation 2014-2016 Summer Mentor
  • Alliance for Minority Participation Poster Judge, 2013-2015
  • College Assistance Migrant Program, Outreach, 2014