Research Interests: We are interested in identifying and studying genes that are affected by environmental pollutants (particularly from exposure to airborne particulate matter). We have focused our research on environmental problems and issues that affect the Puerto Rican population. As an environmental toxicologist I have been studying the possible relationships between respiratory diseases and various constituents of local airborne particulate matter from various regions of Puerto Rico. Coupled to airborne particulates in Puerto Rico we have the influence of African dust and volcanic particles that seasonally and sporadically arrive to our island environment. We have been studying the effects of African Dust Storms that move across the Atlantic Ocean and impacts the island of Puerto Rico. Efforts are guided towards identifying chemical and biological constituents of airborne particles responsible for inducing toxicological and immune responses in the lung. To do this we use human bronchial epithelial cell lines as a research model.  Our goal is to discover and identify the mechanisms by which various constituents modify biochemical responses that can induce the development of disease.

Our laboratory has shown that particles originating from African dust as well as local urban dust strengthen the immunological responses of lung cells to release pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6, and IL8). The mechanisms by which these responses are induced, involve the interactions of heavy metals, endotoxins and organics. We are currently studying the mechanisms by which these three constituents induce these immunological responses.

We have also demonstrated that these constituents also affect the expression of other genes such as the Mayor Histocompatibility Complex Class II (MHCII) and the nuclear orphan receptor (PXR) from the detoxification system. Studies are currently being designed to explain these findings.

Our laboratory maintains close collaborative links with various laboratories throughout the US Dr. Jeremy Boss at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; Dr. Michael Kleinman at University of California at Irvine; Dr. Jose Manautou University of Connecticut at Storr Conn.; and Dr. David Underhill Immunobiology Research Institute  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,  LA Ca. 


  Selected Publications

1.       Adriana Gioda, Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, and Braulio Jiménez-Vélez Evaluation of cytokine expression in BEAS cells exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from specialized indoor environments. International Journal of Environmental Health Research (In Press, 2010 –pp1-14 ). 

2.       M. Ortiz-Martínez, E. Rivera-Ramírez, L. Méndez-Torres, and B.D. Jiménez-Vélez. Role of chemical and biological constituents of PM10 from Saharan Dust in the exacerbation of asthma in Puerto Rico. In: Biodiversity Science for Humanity. Ed. by Michael Theophanides and Theophile Theophanides. Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), ISBN: 978-960-6672-41-5, 300 pages, 2  (2010) 101-118. 

3.       Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Evasomary Rivera, Adriana Gioda, Diana Sanchez-Rivera, Felix R. Roman-Velazquez, and Braulio D. Jiménez-Velez. Use of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) to study immunological markers resulting from exposure to PM2.5 organic extract from Puerto Rico. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 243 (2010) 381-389. 

4.       Braulio Jiménez-Vélez, Yasmin Detrés, Roy A. Armstrong, and Adriana Gioda. Characterization of African dust (PM2.5) across the Atlantic Ocean during AEROSE 2004. Atmospheric Environ. 43 (2009) 2659-2664. 

5.       Adriana Gioda, Gilberto Hanke, Augusto Elias, and Braulio Jiménez-Velez.  A pilot study to determine mercury levels in a dental environment at the School of Dentistry. Toxicology and Industrial Health. 2007; 23: 103-113. 

6.       Adriana Gioda, Ulda Peréz, Zenaida Rosa and Braulio D. Jiménez-Velez.  Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from different areas of Puerto Rico. Fresenius Environmental Bull. Vol. 16; No. 4 2007. 

7.       Alejandro R. Molinelli,, Guido Santacana, Michael C. Madden, and Braulio D. Jiménez-Vélez. Cytotoxicity and metal content of Organic Solvent Extracts from Airborne Particulate Matter in Puerto Rico. Environmental Research, 102:314-325, 2006. 

8.       Acevedo D., B.D. Jiménez-Vélez and C. J. Rodríguez-Sierra Trace metals in sediments of two estuarine lagoons from Puerto Rico.  Environ. Poll. 141:336-342, 2006.  

9.       Adriana Gioda, Ulda Pérez, Zenaida Rosa and Braulio D. Jiménez-Vélez. Concentration of heavy metals in airborne PM10 from Jobos Bay National Estuary, Puerto Rico. Water Air and Soil Pollution. 174 (1-4): 141-159 JUL 2006. 

10.    Figueroa, David Acevedo; Rodríguez-Sierra, Carlos J.; and Jiménez-Velez, Braulio D. Concentrations of Ni and V, other heavy metals, arsenic, elemental and organic carbon in atmospheric fine particles (PM2.5) from Puerto Rico. Toxicol. Indust. Health 22 (2): 87-99 2006. 

11.    B. Jiménez-Vélez, A. Gioda, Fuentes-Mattei, E.  Organic and aqueous extracts from particulate matter (PM2.5) and their effect on the immunological response of human bronchial epithelial cells BEAS-2B.  In Metals Ions in Biology and Medicine Publ. John Libbey  8; 267-272 (2006). 

12.    Jaime F. Puig-Hernández, PhD. and Braulio D. Jiménez-Velez, PhD. HPLC Determination of the Concentration and Integrity of L-Thyroxine (T4) in Free T4 Stock Solution. Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal, 24:No2, 151-156 (2005). 

13.    Mónica I. Torres-Pérez , MS; Braulio D. Jiménez-Velez, PhD; Imar Mansilla-Rivera, PhD, Carlos J. Rodríguez-Sierra, PhD. Effect of three extraction techniques on sub mitochondrial particle and Microtox bioassays by airborne particulate matter. Puerto Rico Health Science Journal 24:No.1, 35-39 (2005). 

14.    K. Kientz, B. D. Jiménez, L. Pérez, C. J. Rodríguez-Sierra In Vitro Bioaccessibility of Metals in Soils from a Superfund Site in Puerto Rico Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 70:927-934 (2003). 

15.    Carlos J. Rodríguez and Braulio D. Jiménez (2002). Trace Metals in Striped Moharra (Diapterus plumierri) Fish from Puerto Rico. Mar. Pollution Bull. 44: (10) pp. 1039-1045. 

16.    B.D. Jiménez, L. Maldonado, R.H. Dahl, L.C. Quattrochi, P.S. Guzelian. Ectopic Expression of MHC Class II Genes (RT1.B (I) (/() in Rat Hepatocytes in vivo and in Culture Can be Elicited by Treatment with the Pregnane X Receptor Agonists Pregnenolone 16(-Carbonitrile and Dexamethasone.  Life Sci. 71:(3) 311-323, June, 2002. 

17.    Alan M. Preston, Fred B. Bercovitch, Braulio D. Jiménez, José F. Rodriguez Orengo, Wilfredo Delgado Morales, Cindy A. Rodriguez, Manuel R. Lebrón and Cynthia E. Rivera. Plasma homocysteine concentrations in a population of Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta): reference ranges and accompanying plasma concentrations of folate and Vitamin B12.  Contemporary Topics (41) No.1 pp 28-30. 2002. 

18.    U. J. Pérez, B. Jiménez, W. Delgado, and C. J. Rodriguez-Sierra. Heavy Metals in the False Mussel, Mytilopsis domingensis, from Two Tropical Estuarine Lagoons. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 66:206-213 (2001).  

19.    José L. Roig-López, Pedro Santiago, Carlos Santiago, Braulio Jiménez and José E. GarcÌa-Arraras. Strategies to identify differentially expressed genes during regeneration. Echinoderms 2000, Baker (ed.), Swelts  & Zeitlinger, Lisse, ISBN 90 5809189 9 (2001).  

20.    P. Melendez, N. Longo B.D. Jiménez and C.L. Cadilla. Insulin induced gene 33 mRNA expression in CHO cells is insulin receptor dependent. J. Cell Biochem, 77 (3): 432-444 (2000). 

21.    Darwin Reyes, Osvaldo Rosario, José F. Rodriguez, and Braulio Jiménez. Toxic Evaluation of organic extracts from airborne particulate matter in Puerto Rico. Environmental Health Perspectives 108: (7) 635-640 (2000). 

22.    Braulio D. Jiménez, L.C. Quattrochi, C.B. Yockey, and P.S. Guzelian. Identification by Differential Display of the IF1 Inhibitor Peptide of ATP Synthase/ATPase as a Gene Inducible in Rat Liver by Pregnenolone 16a-Carbonitrile.  Life Sciences 67 15: 1825-1832  (2000). 

23.    David Acevedo, Carlos J. Rodríguez-Sierra, Darwin Reyes, and Braulio D. Jiménez. Heavy metals in sediments and water from San Jose and Joyuda Lagoons in Puerto Rico. In Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine, Publ. John Libbey 6: 169-172 (2000). 

24.    Ana B. Henríquez-Alberdeston, René R. Dávila, José F. Rodríguez Orengo, Braulio Jiménez, and Carlos J. Rodríguez Sierra. Blood Lead Levels of Low-Income Urban and Rural Puerto Rican Children. In Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine. Publ. John Libbey 6: 328-330 (2000). 

25.    Romero, N., Calzadilla, S., Jiménez, B. D., and Cadilla, C., Insulin and Phorbol Esther regulation of gene 33 expression in CHO Cells. Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal (PRHSJ), 18: 257-265  (1999). 

26.    Clark, J.T., Jiménez, B., Evans, S.L., Barrow, R., Winfree, M. and Mrotek, J. Cd-Induced sexual dysfunction does not involve increased hepatic metabolism nor increased corticosterone.  Physiology and Behavior 56:(5) 975-981 (1994). 

27.    Oikari, A. and Jiménez, B.D. Effects of hepatotoxicants on the induction of microsomal mono-oxygenase activity in sunfish liver by B-naphthoflavone and B(a)P.  Ecotoxicol. Environ. Safety 23:(1) 89-102 (1992). 

28.    Loar, J.M., Adams, S.M., Allison, L.J., Black, M.C., Boston, H.L., Gatz, A.J. Jr., Hinzman, R.L., Huston, M.A., Jiménez, B.D., McCarthy, J.F., Reagan, S.D., Smith, J.G., Southworth, G.R. and Stewart, A.J., Report on the Ridge Y-12 Plant biological monitoring and abatement program for East Fork Poplar Creek.  Environ. Sci. Division publication Num. Y-TS-886.  Oak Ridge National lab, TN (1992). 

29.    McCarthy, Shugart, L.R., and B.D. Jiménez, 1992. Biomarker-based biomonitors for evaluating health and ecological effects of environmental contaminants. In:Hazardous Waste Site Investigations: Towards Better Decisions. editors R.B. Gamage, and B.A. Berven, Lewis Publ. Inc., Boca Raton, Fl. 177-207. 

30.    Shugart, L. R., Jiménez, B. D. and McCarthy J. F.  1991. DNA Damage as a Biological Marker in Aquatic Organisms exposed to Benzo[a]pyrene. In: Eleventh International Symposium on Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons, edited by W.E. May and M. Cooke. Batelle Press, Columbus, OH pp 839-846 Washington DC. pp 123-142 

31.    McCarthy J. F., B.D. Jiménez, L.R. Shugart, F. V. Sloop and A. Oikari, 1990. Biological markers in animal sentinels: Laboratory studies improve interpretation of field data. In Situ Evaluation of Biological Hazards of Environmental Pollutants, Ed. S. Sandhu Plenum Press, New York. pp 163-175. 

32.    Jiménez, B. D. 1990. Laboratory and field responses in the bluegill sunfish (Lepomis sp.) In: Biological Markers of Environmental Contaminants. Ed. J.F. McCarthy and L. R. Shugart. American Chemical Society, Washington DC. pp 123-142.  

33.    Jiménez, B. D. and J.J. Stegeman, 1990. Detoxication enzymes as indicators of stress. Special edition Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 8: 67-79. 

34.    Shugart, L. R., S. M. Adams, B. D. Jiménez, S. S. Talmage, and J.F. McCarthy. 1989. Biological markers to study exposure in animals and bioavailability of environmental contaminants. In: Biological Monitoring for Pesticide Exposure.: Measurements, Estimation, and Risk Reduction, edited by Rhonda G. M. Wang, C. A. Franklin, R. C. Honeycutt, and J. C. Reinert. ACS symposium series 382. American Chemical Society, Washginton, DC. pp 85-95. 

35.    Jiménez, B. D.  and L. S. Burtis, 1989.  Influence of environmental variables on the hepatic MFO system in the bluegill sunfish, (Lepomis Macrochirus). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 93C: No.1 11-21. 

36.    McCarthy, J. F., D. N. Jacobson L. R. Shugart and B. D. Jiménez. 1989. Pre-exposure to 3-methylcholanthrene increases benzo(a)pyrene adducts on DNA of bluegill sunfish.  Mar. Environ. Res. 28: 323-328 

37.    Adams, S. M., K. L. Shepard, M. S. Greeley Jr., B. D. Jiménez, M. G. Ryon, L. R. Shugart, J. F. McCarthy, and D. E. Hinton. 1989. The use of bioindicators for assessing the effects of pollutant stress on fish.  Mar. Environ. Res. 28: 459-464. 

38.    Jiménez, B. D. and L. S. Burtis, 1988.  Response of the mixed function oxidase system to toxicant dose, food and acclimation temperature in the bluegill sunfish.  Marine Environ. Res. 24:45-49. 

39.    Jiménez, B. D., G. H. Ezell, B. Z. Egan, N. E. Lee, and J. F. McCarthy, 1988.  Effects of environmental variables on the mixed function oxidase (MFO) in bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus).  Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 7:623-634 

40.    Jiménez, B. D., C. P. Cirmo, and J. F. McCarthy, 1987. Uptake elimination and metabolism of Benzo(a)pyrene in bluegill sunfish ( Lepomis macrochirus). Aquat. Toxicol. 10:41-57. 

41.    Shugart, L., J. F. McCarthy, B. D. Jiménez, and J. Daniels.  1987. Analysis of adduct formation in the bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) between benzo(a)pyrene and DNA of the liver and hemoglobin of the erythrocyte.  Aquat. Toxicol. 9: No. 6 319-325.



42.    McCarthy, J.F., Shugart, L.R. and Jiménez, B.D. Biomarker Based Biomonitors for Evaluating Health and Ecological Effects of Environmental Contaminants In: Hazardons Waste Site Investigation: Toward Better Decision.  R.B. Gamage and B.A. Berven.   Eds. Lewis Pub. Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 177-207 (1992). 

43.    Shugart, L.R., Jiménez, B.D. and McCarthy, J.F. DNA Damage as a Biological Marker in Aquatic Organisms.  In: Eleventh International Symposium on Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Measurements, mens and metabolism.  J. Mercitt, M. Cook.  Edited by Betelle Press, Columbus, OH pp. 839-846 (1991). 

44.    Jiménez, B.D., Oikari, A., Adams, S.M., Hinton, D.E. and McCarthy, J.F. Hepatic enzymes as biomarkers: Interpreting the effects of environmental, physiological, and toxicological variables.  In: Biological Markers of Environmental Contaminants.  Ed. J.F. McCarthy and L.R. Shugart.  Lewis Publishers Press.  American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., pp. 123-142 (1990).

45.    Jiménez, B.D. and Stegeman, J.J. Fish detoxification enzymes as indicators of pollution. In Biological Indicators of Stress in Fish.  Amer. Fish Soc. 8: 67-79 (1990). 

46.    McCarthy, J.F., Jiménez, B.D., Shugart, L.R., Sloop, F.V. and Oikari, A. Biological markers in animal sentinels: Laboratory studies improve interpretation of field data.  In Situ Evaluation of Biological Hazards of Environmental Pollutants, Ed. S. Sandhu Plenum Press, New York, pp. 163-175 (1990). 

47.    Shugart, L.R., Adams, S.M., Jiménez, B.D., Talmage, S.S. and McCarthy, J.F. Biological markers to study exposure in animals and bioavailability of environmental contaminants. In: Biological Monitoring for Pesticide Exposure: Measurements, Estimation, and Risk Reduction, edited by Rhonda G.M. Wang, C.A. Franklin, R.C. Honeycutt, and J.C. Reinert.  ACS symposium series 382. Washington, D.C., pp. 85-95 (1989). 


48.    Adriana Gioda and Braulio D. Jimenez-Velez, Ph.D. Particulate Matter PM2.5 fungi and metal analyses and toxicological evaluation from an indoor environment at the Puerto Rico Health Department. Prepared for the Health Department. 2005. pp1-26. 

49.    Braulio D. Jimenez-Velez, Ph.D. Zenaida Rosa, Ms., Ulda Pérez, Ms. and Adriana Gioda, Ph.D. Evaluating heavy metal concentrations in airborne PM10 from the Jobos Bay National Estuary, at Salinas, Puerto Rico. Prepared for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources  Dec 2003 pp1-14. 

50.    David Acevedo Carlos J. Rodríguez Sierra Weldin Ortiz, Guido Santacana and Braulio D.Jiménez-Velez. Toxicity assessment of airborne particulate matter and heavy metal evaluation in fish from Vieques.  Prepared for the Univ. of PR  (2003) 

51.    David Acevedo, Wilfredo Delgado, Carlos J. Rodríguez Sierra Weldin Ortiz, and Braulio D.Jiménez-Velez Environmental pollutants in aquatic organisms from the San Jose Lagoon Prepared for University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Sea Grant College Program 1999 pp 1-13.

52.    Carlos J. Rodríguez Sierra and Braulio D. Jiménez. Assessment of metals in sediments, fish, and shellfish food from the San Juan Bay estuary system. Prepared for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources 1998.  

53.    Jimenez B, C. J. Rodríguez, J. F. Rodriguez. Analisis de pH de suelos y aguas del area del manglar impactado por aguas acidas en la Planta de Energia Electrica de Palo Seco.  Centro de Estudios Ambientales y Toxicologicos, Escuela de Farmacia, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ciencias Médicas. Prepared for the P.R. Power Authority October de 1995 pp12. 

54.    Jimenez B., C.J. Rodriguez and F. Fuentes. Evaluation of mangrove recovery after a spill of acidic water at the Palo Seco Thermoelectric Power Plant in Puerto Rico. Prepared for the P.R. Power Authority April 1997 pp1-37. 

55.    Frohn, R.C., Dale, V.H. and Jimenez, B.D. Colonization, Road Development and Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Basin of Rhondonia. Environmental Sciences Division Publication  No. 3394.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL\TM 11470, pp. 1-82 (1990) 

56.    Loar, J.M., Adams, S.M., Black, M.C., Boston, H.L., Gatz, Jr., A.J., Huston, M.A., Jimenez, B.D., McCarthy, J.F., Reagan, S.D., Smith, J.G., Southworth, G.R. and Stewart, A.J.,  First annual report on the Y-12 Plant biological monitoring and abatement program. Draft Report Publication No. 2984.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, pp. 1-307 (1988) 

57.    Jimenez, B.D. and Cintrón, B. Environmental Quality Summary for Puerto Rico. Report  to region II, Environmental Protection Agency, New York, New York, pp. 1-58 (1980) 

58.    Jimenez, B.D. Fish kill guidelines and contingency plan for Puerto Rico.  Special report submitted to Environmental Quality Board of Puerto Rico, pp. 1-20 (1980). 

59.    Jimenez, B.D., Garcia, R. and Gelabert, P. "Efecto ambiental de la extracción de arena en Isabela, P.R." (The environmental effects of sand extraction in Isabela, P.R.).  Report submitted to Aguadilla District Court of Puerto Rico, Pp. 1-35 (1980). 

60.    Tosteson, T.R., Tsai, R.S.C., Ballantine, D., Chang, J.S.Y., Zimmerman, R. and Jimenez, B.D. A re-evaluation of the biota affected by petrochemical contamination. Technical Report of Department of Marine Sciences. Report submitted to EQB Board of PR (1977). 

61.    Jimenez, B.D. "Hidrocarburos derivados del petroleo en el ambiente de Puerto Rico"(Petroleum derived hydrocarbons in the environment of Puerto Rico).  Environmental Quality Board of Puerto Rico, Santurce, P.R., JCA 001, pp. 1-25 (1982)

62. Jimenez, B.D. and Cintron, B. Guidelines for mixing zone, bioassay design, selection of species, composite sample preparation test methods, and reporting of results.  Environmental Quality Board of Puerto Rico, pp. 35 (1981)


Braulio D. Jiménez, Ph.D. Professor,
Molecular and Environmental Toxicology.
Ph.D., 1981, University of Puerto Rico, at Mayaguez
Phone: (787) 758-2525 ext. 1235, 1250

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