Anaid is a postdoctoral translation scholar in the DNA Recombination and Repair laboratory of senior group leader Dr. Stephen West. The focus of the lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms of homologous recombination (HR), a DNA damage repair pathway that cells use to maintain genomic stability. Anaid’s postdoctoral research explored the molecular dynamics of chromosomal fragility at genome regions termed common fragile sites (CFS). Currently, she's a translation fellow developing a diagnostic platform to assess the DNA repair capacity of tumour samples.

Training: Anaid was born in La Habana, Cuba, and emigrated to the United States where she received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a Biomechanics minor from the University of Florida. She continued her studies at the University of Miami where she earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and completed her postdoctoral studies at The Francis Crick Institute. Anaid has a strong background in laboratory research and project development, with over 16 years of wet-lab experience in DNA damage and repair. She’s employed her engineering and biological research skills to find novel therapeutic combinations in urological cancers, develop diagnostic and prognostic markers, characterize DNA damage repair proteins, understand replication stress-induced genomic instability, and develop innovative tools for oncological patient stratification.

Beyond academia: Anaid has a passion for entrepreneurship and collaborative product development. During her spare time, she developed a medical device for pregnant women to aid in performing a perineal massage, a technique which significantly reduces childbirth-related perineal trauma. On another front, she's refining a diagnostic tool to customize cancer treatment strategies focusing on DNA damage response. Funding for her venture has streamed in from esteemed sources like MedTech SuperConnector, Cancer Research Horizons, and the Crick’s Translation Fund. Her groundbreaking technology recently secured a significant innovation grant from the Chris Banton Fund.

Anaid's entrepreneurial prowess extends to her participation in renowned trainings such as the PULSE program by BioIndustry Association and The Francis Crick Institute, as well as the WE ACE initiative by Innovation Forum Oxford. In the span of 2021-2022, she completed two sought-after start-up accelerators: the Cancer Tech Accelerator program (a collaboration between Cancer Research UK, Capital Enterprise, and Roche UK) and the MedTech SuperConnector program.

Crick Science Entrepreneur Network (CSEN): 2021 saw Anaid wearing another leadership hat. Alongside a talented team of budding scientists, she co-founded the Crick Science Entrepreneur Network (CSEN). CSEN's mission is to foster entrepreneurship in the Crick environment and the broader scientific community. A key CSEN aim is fostering dialogues between researchers and industry leaders, exploring the commercial possibilities of their scientific endeavors. As Co-Chair, Anaid's leadership helped to shape its culture, ethos, and decision-making paradigms. Notably, within its inaugural year, the CSEN team orchestrated over 15 instructional events at the Crick, synergized with the Crick’s translation team to launch the Crick Innovation Challenge, and earned a nomination for one of the Crick’s Annual Awards. In 2022, Anaid was honored as a runner up for the Sir David Cooksey Prize in Translation and was named an Early Career Translation Fellow. In 2023, Anaid was awarded the Sir David Cooksey Prize in Translation for her work on cancer diagnostics and her leadership of CSEN.

Translation Scholar: In 2023, Anaid played a pivotal role in establishing the Translation Scholar position, designed to provide PhD students and postdoctoral researchers with vital entrepreneurship skills, leadership capabilities, and the necessary resources to advance their technologies towards commercialization. As the first to assume this role, Anaid not only holds the title but also guides and supports other emerging entrepreneurs at the institute.

Qualifications and history

University of Florida
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biological Engineering with Biomechanics (Minor)
University of Miami
PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology