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Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Semarhy Quinones-Soto

Title: Director of Student Research Center, Associate Project Director of CSU-LSAMP Alliance, Research Coordinator of Science Educational Equity Program, Lecturer of Biological Sciences

Office Location: Library 2026


Office Hours: Mondays | noon - 1:30 pm


BS in Microbiolgy, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao

PhD in Microbiology, University of California, Davis

Post-Doc in Bacterial Genetics, University of California, Davis 


University & Other Appointments

Director, Student Research Center (LIB 2026)src_vert.png

Associate Project Director, CSU-LSAMP Statewide Alliance (SQU 226)

RISE Program Coordinator, NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Advancement (RISE) Program     

CSU-LSAMP Research Coordinator, Science Educational Equity Program (SQU 320C)  SEE Program

Lecturer, Biological Sciences

SACNAS Chapter Faculty Advisor      


Courses That I Teach

Current (Fall 2018):

BIO 184:   General Genetics  Mo,We 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm | BRH 202

Past Courses:

BIO 2: Cells, Molecules and Genes (activity)

BIO 7: Introduction to the Science of Biology (lecture & lab)

BIO 10: Basic Biological Concepts

BIO 100: Introduction to Scientific Analysis (activity)

BIO 184: General Genetics (lecture & lab)

BIO 220: Intro to Scientific Inquiry 

BIO 223: Human Molecular Genetics

NSM 21: First Year Seminar

Professional Interests

I have a deep passion to mentor and advise students, particularly students from traditionally underrepresented groups, who are interested in pursuing research careers. I am deeply committed to improve the research experience of Sac State students by providing academic, research and career advise, graduate school preparedness and monitoring the students’ educational progress, while facilitating interactions between faculty mentors and student researchers.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao (UPRH), I participated in the PR-LSAMP and the NIGMS-MARC research-training programs. Through the LSAMP and MARC programs, I gained research experience, effective mentoring and developed a sense of belonging in the research field. These research-training programs played a vital role in my development as a scientist and becoming a mentor for students who wish to pursue graduate degrees. As the current LSAMP/RISE Research Coordinator and Director of the Student Research Center, I wish to provide the same opportunities I had to our students here at Sac State.

I also volunteer as a STEM Diversity Leader with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and I founded the new SACNAS at Sac State student chapter. Through our chapter, I promote Diversity in Science Careers at the local and national level. 


Professional Associations, Awards & Scholarships

Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute - 2016 SLI Alumna

SACNAS - Advancing Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science

AAAS - American Association for the Advancement of Acience

CUR - Council of Undergraduate Research


NIH-IMSD Scholar, University of California, Davis (2003-2004)

MARC U-STAR Scholar, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao (2000-2002)

PR-LSAMP Scholar, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao (2000)



Quinones-Soto, S. 2017. Testimonio 12, In: The Latino Student’s Guide to STEM Careers. L.I. Rendon and V. Kanagala. Greenwood. 184-190 (ISBN 978-1-61069-791-0)

Sano, E., S. Maisnier-Patin, S. Quinones-Soto, J.P. Aboubechara and J.R. Roth. 2014. Selected Lac+ mutants in the Cairns system are initiated by pre-exiting cells with plasmid amplification. Genetics 198 (3), 919-933

Dragosits, M., V. Mozhayskiy, S. Quinones-Soto, J. Park and I. Tagkopoulos. 2013. Evolutionary potential, cross-stress behavior and the genetic basis of acquired stress resistance in Escherichia coli. Nature/EMBO Molecular Systems Biology 9(643)

Quinones-Soto, S., A.B. Reams and J.R. Roth. 2012. Pathways of Genetic Adaptation: Multi-step Origin of Mutants under Selection in Salmonella enterica. Genetics. 192:987-999

Quinones-Soto, S. and J.R. Roth. 2011. Effect of Growth under Selection on Appearance of Chromosomal Mutations in Salmonella enterica. Genetics. 189(1):37-53