Overview: Biochemist and neurobiologist interested in uncovering the molecular basis of human disorders and disease. Currently performing postdoctoral research at Stanford University investigating the impact of chromatin regulatory processes in neurodevelopment.
Research Interests: Freddy Valencia graduated with a PhD in Chemical Biology from Harvard University and is currently a Stanford Science Fellow and Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University. His long-term research interests aim to uncover the underlying epigenetic mechanisms implicated in the development of human disorders and diseases. In Dr. Cigall Kadoch's laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he investigated the biochemical, structural, and functional consequences that perturbations to the mammalian SWI/SNF (mSWI/SNF or BAF) chromatin-remodeling complex have in the cell. More precisely, his research examined the molecular mechanisms through which SMARCB1 mutations are implicated in cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders and contributed to the characterization of the modular organization of the mSWI/SNF protein complexes. Now in the laboratory of Dr. Sergiu Pasca at Stanford University, Freddy is implementing pluripotent stem-cell derived models of early brain development, human brain organoids, to further identify the chromatin regulatory processes in human brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Higher Education Mentorship & Leadership: As the son of Mexican immigrants raised in Santa Ana, CA, Freddy is passionate about teaching and mentoring students from underrepresented groups in the sciences. Through his involvement in programs like Breakthrough Collaborative while in high school, Tutors for a Cause while at Pitzer College, and the Native American High School Program while at Harvard University, he aims to serve as a mentor, role model, and agent of change for underrepresented minority students in their pursuit of higher education. During his graduate studies, Freddy was elected as Co-President of the Minority Biomedical Scientists of Harvard (MBSH) student organization and was one of two inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Fellows for Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Through these roles, he worked to foster collaboration and a sense of community between students of color throughout the Harvard community.