Maria Elena joined the Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI) as the Scientific Director in 2000. Maria Elena, a native Costa Rican, has a MS in Microbiology from the University of Costa Rica and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas, Houston. Prior to joining SSI, Maria Elena worked as a visiting scientist for the Center for Disease Control and a specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
As SSI’s Scientific Director, Maria Elena runs the core Scientific Capacity-Building Program to incrementally build the knowledge and increase the capacity of local researchers in the developing world to address public health issues related to priority infectious diseases. Since 2010 Maria Elena has been working closely with the Egypt office to continue expanding our activities and support programs there.