Dr. Parra received her PhD in 1998 at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, and earned a B.S. and M.S. in biochemistry from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela, where she was born and raised.

Personal Statement

Dr. Parra research program investigates regulation of pH homeostasis and other physiological functions of V-ATPase proton pumps in fungi and cancer. She has mentored over 70 trainees who include faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, medical students, undergraduates, and high school students. Her students have received more than 40 achievement awards, and many now have their own research and academic positions. Dr. Parra enjoys working with students and junior faculty of different backgrounds, and seeing them follow their own path.
Published Work in My Bibliography:

Achievements & Awards

Dr. Parra is Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the UNM School of Medicine, a position that she has held since 2012. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry since 2020, the editorial board for the Journal of Biological Chemistry since 2014, and was Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conference in Bioenergetics. Dr. Parra also serves as the Translational Workforce Development Director for the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center for which she oversees new curriculum development for translational research training courses since 2017. Before joining UNM in 2007, Dr. Parra was on the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Ball State University in Muncie, IN (2000-2006).

In 2018, Dr. Parra completed the yearlong leadership program called the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine(ELAM). ELAM is a part-time fellowship for women faculty dedicated to the development of the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex health care environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions. In 2019, she completed a Certified Healthcare Leader Peer Coach training. This program aims to improve personal effectiveness and lay the foundation for creating a culture of coaching in organizations.

Dr. Parra’s awards include National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2003, the Ball State University Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 2005, the Faculty of Color Award from the Project of New Mexico Graduates of Color for Research in 2010, and for Mentoring in 2011.


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