Nivia L. Pérez-Acevedo, PhD

Interim Associate Dean of Biomedical Sciences and Director of Graduate Program
Dra. Nivia Pérez Acevedo


University of Puerto Rico                  Post-Doc                2002-2003            Neuroscience/Neuroendocrinology

University of Puerto Rico                  PhD                        1997-2001            Biology; Neuroscience tract

University of Puerto Rico                  MS                          1994-1996            Biology; Neuroscience tract

University of Puerto Rico                  BS                           1986-1992            Biology


Interim Associate Dean of Biomedical Sciences                                                                                        07/2021-present

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Campus -University of Puerto Rico, (SoM-MSC-UPR)


Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Coordinator                                                                           09/2010-06/2021

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Campus -University of Puerto Rico, (SoM-MSC-UPR)


Professor                                                                                                                                                        07/2018 – present

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UPR-MSC, San Juan, PR


Associate Professor                                                                                                                                           10/2013-09/2018

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UPR-MSC, San Juan, PR


Member, Admission Committee, (SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                                                 08/2015-06/2021


Member, Curriculum Committee, (SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                                               08/2015-06/2018


President, Faculty Affairs Committee (CAFAC), (SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                   08/2015-07/2017


Personal Committee for Academic Deanship Affairs RCM, Ad-Hoc Member

(SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                                                                                                                08/2015-2020


Secretary, Faculty Affair Committee, (SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                                        08/2014-07/2015


Scientist Member, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)                                   02/2005-09/2013


Assistant Professor

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, (SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                                 09/2003-06/2013


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, (SoM-MSC-UPR)                                                                                      01/2002-09/2003

  • Developed scientific research methods to understand the effects of the neurosteroid 5α -androstane-3α, 17β-diol (3αDIOL) in affective components of behavior according to sex
  • Supervised and coached undergraduate scientists conducting research protocols, data analysis, literature research, and oral presentations
  • Presented result findings in local and international conferences and published findings


Research Assistant (Dr Allen Selverston)

Institute of Neurobiology, San Juan, PR                                                                                                         08/1997-12/2001

  • Developed innovative research protocols using basic electrophysiology, as well as molecular techniques (Western Blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and pharmacology) and data analysis to investigate the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in the lobster nervous system
  • Presented result findings in local and international conferences and published findings


Laboratory Technician (Dr José del Castillo, rip)

Institute of Neurobiology, UPR, San Juan, PR                                                                                              08/1996-07/1997

  • Responsible for maintaining and operating standard laboratory equipment
  • Supervised productivity, health and welfare, and all administrative matters including general laboratory maintenance


Research Assistant ((Dr José del Castillo, rip)

Institute of Neurobiology, UPR, San Juan, PR                                                                                              08/1994-05/1996

  • Developed and conducted scientific research using basic electrophysiology techniques to elucidate the catch mechanism in the sea urchin


Laboratory Technician (Dr Damian Kuffler)

Institute of Neurobiology, UPR, San Juan, PR                                                                                              08/1992-07/1994

  • Responsible for maintaining and operating standard laboratory equipment
  • Conducted searches relevant to laboratory research planning and execution of the experimental design
  • Supervised productivity and all administrative matters related to the laboratory



Professions Capacity Building Program sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and

Universities (HACU) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)                            2005

RCMI Faculty Development in Research Program                                                                                     2006

Selected to participate in the Early Career Women Faculty Seminar, Association of American

Medical Colleges (AAMC)                                                                                                                              2007

UK/NIGMS Internet Grant Writing Workshop at the University of Kentucky                                     2008

RCMI Faculty Development in Research Program                                                                                     2009

Gordon Research Conference: Amygdala in Health & Disease                                                                2009

Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowship                                                                                     2009

Certificate of Excellence given by the medical class of MED 2011. UPR-MSC                                   2009

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Grant Writing Workshop           2010

NINDS Grant Writing Workshop for Diversity Investigators                                                                  2010

Minority Fellowship Program (MFP’s) 40th Anniversary Celebration Committee                             2013

Post-Doctoral Master in Science Mentor Recognition                                                                               2014

Board Member of Junta de Donaciones Anatómicas de Puerto Rico                                                 2017 – present

Comité de Medicina I                                                                                                                                       2018 – present

Comité de Monitoreo I                                                                                                                                     2018 – present

National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Facilitator                                                                    2018 – present

Member of Departmental Personal Committee                                                                                           2019 – 2021



Pérez, N, Sosa, MA, and Kuffler, DP. 1997. Growth cones turn up concentration gradients of diffusible peripheral target-derived factors.  Exp. Neurol. 145: 196-202. PMID: 9184121.

del Castillo, J, Hime, J, and Pérez-Acevedo, N.  1998. A short history of electrophysiology and its techniques.  Section III. Electrophysiological instruments and techniques.  PRHSJ. 17 (1): 81-88.

Pérez-Acevedo, NL, Marrero, H, del Castillo, J, and Smith, DS. 1998. Transient wrinkles in a variable length tendon.  In: R. Mooi and M. Telford, Echinoderms: San Francisco.  A.A. Balkema, Rotherdan, Netherlands, pp. 783-790. PMID: 9642725

Krenz, WD, Nguyen, D, Pérez-Acevedo, NL, and Selverston, AI. 2000.  Group I, II, and III mGluR compounds affect rhythm generation in the gastric circuit of the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion.  J Neurophysiol. Mar;83(3):1188-201. PMID: 10712449

Pérez Acevedo, NL, and Krenz, WD.  2005.  Metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists modify the pyloric output of the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion, Brain Res. 1662(1-2): 1-8. PMID: 16256086

Pérez-Acevedo, NL, Lathroum, LP, and Jorge JC.  2006.  Sex-specific modulation of affect after infusion of the neurosteroid 3αDIOL in the basolateral amygdala; Behav Neurosci. Jun;120(3):632-640. PMID: 16768615

De Jesús Burgos MI, Torres-Llenza V and Pérez-Acevedo NL.  2012.  Activation of amygdalar metabotropic glutamate receptors modulates anxiety, and risk assessment behaviors in ovariectomized estradiol-treated female rats. Pharmacol Biochem and Behavior.101:369-378. PMID: 22326382

Ramos-Pratts K, Rosa-González D, Pérez-Acevedo NL, Cintrón-López D, Barreto-Estrada JL.  2013.  Sex-specific effect of the anabolic steroid, 17α-methyltestosterone, on inhibitory avoidance learning in periadolescent rats.  Behav Processes.  Oct;99:73-80. PMID: 22326382

De Jesús-Burgos MI, González-García S, Cruz-Santa Y and Pérez-Acevedo NL.  2015.  Amygdalar activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors produces anti- and pro- conflict effects depending upon animal sex in a sexually dimorphic conditioned conflict-based anxiety model.  Behavioral Brain Research Apr1:303:200-12. PMID:26777900.


Austin Journal of Anatomy                                                                                                                               2013 – present

Buhiti Magazine                                                                                                                                                  2014 – present



Abstract reviewer for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students

and for the Foro Annual de Investigación en Recinto de Ciencias Médicas                                            2005 – present

Clinical Anatomy                                                                                                                                                2009

Physiology and Behavior                                                                                                                                   2011

African Journal of Agricultural Research (AJAR)                                                                                         2012

Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal (PRHSJ)                                                                                               2014 & 2019

The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNUMED)                                                                                                2016

Journal of Pain Research                                                                                                                                   2019

Journal of Neurophysiology                                                                                                                              2019

Behavioral Brain Research                                                                                                                                2020


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Research support and/or scholastic performance



  • NIH/NIMH- MBRS/RISE (R25 GM061838) Cadilla (PI)                 09/17–08/22 Pérez-Acevedo, Nivia L.  Role and Subproject: Coordinator for the Mentor Capacity Building Workshop Series of the MBRS/RISE.
    • Develop, implement, and promote mentoring training for mentors (>60). Co-InvestigatorResearch Initiative for Scientific Enhancement. NIGMS-RISE R25 GM061838)




  • NIH/NIMH- MBRS/RISE (R25 GM061838) Cadilla (PI)                 09/12–08/17 Pérez-Acevedo, Nivia L.  Role and Subproject: Coordinator for the Advance Course and Specialized Seminar (Activity #2b). Developed and coordinated an advanced course for the graduate program at the UPR-MSC.
  • Nivia L. Pérez-Acevedo, PI. The role of sex steroids and amygdala metabotropic glutamate receptors in anxiety. EARDA 01/01/09-12/31/09. Designed a pilot project to determine the role of mGluRs in the amygdala nuclei in anxiety-related behaviors and to investigate whether estradiol modulate their effect.




Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Power Point, Intranet and Internet, R Statistics and Sigma Sat