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Jorge Acuna ’20

Jorge Acuna ’20 is currently a PhD candidate studying cell and molecular biology, specifically SARS-CoV-2 entry mechanisms, at the University of Pennsylvania, with an expected graduation date of 2026.

Acuna came to Purchase via the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, during which he conducted bacteriophage research with Associate Professor of Biology James Daly.

He continued working with Professor Daly to further his research on bacteriophages and Renibacterium salmoninarum, a fish pathogen that causes bacterial kidney disease.

He participated in the Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he conducted research on detecting mouse hepatitis virus RNA in infected macrophages.

During his senior year, he worked with Associate Professor of Biology Elliott Abrams, studying molecular processes functioning during early development using Tetrahymena thermophila.

Prior to attending Purchase, Acuna earned an associate’s degree from Rockland Community College, where he was vice president of the beta beta beta Biological Honor Society.

Awards / Residencies


Member Sigma Xi, Honors Research Society