Alberto I. Roca, PhD
Faculty Mentor

Alberto RocaAlberto Roca

Alberto Roca, Ph.D.
Peer Mentor since 2006
Faculty Mentor since 2011


Dr. Alberto Roca was a Project Scientist in the Biochemistry Department at the University of California, Irvine where he was formerly a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow. His research involves using biophysical and bioinformatic approaches to understand the molecular mechanism of recombinational DNA repair. Dr. Roca is a first-generation Peruvian-American born in Houston, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has received FASEB/MARC travel awards to present his work at the annual meetings of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB/ISMB), and the Biophysical Society. At the 2010 ISMB conference, his work received second place in the inaugural Killer App Award competition. The award recognized a novel bioinformatic method (ProfileGrids) for visualizing large multiple sequence alignments.

Dr. Roca received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant that allowed him to organize postdoctoral activities at the SACNAS conference (including the Minority Postdoc Summit) and to create the web portal www.MinorityPostdoc.org. He founded the SACNAS Postdoc Committee (2005), served on the 2008 SACNAS Program Committee, and also co-founded the Diversity Committee of the National Postdoctoral Association. Dr. Roca has co-chaired many postdoc-related activities at the SACNAS conferences since 2003. He has been an invited speaker on minority postdoctoral issues at the following conferences: the Compact for Faculty Diversity's annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring; the Howard University/UTEP Institute on Preparing for Postdoctoral Experiences in STEM; and the COSEPUP Second Convocation on Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Roca has received the UC-Irvine Chancellor's Living Our Values Award as well as the SACNAS Distinguished Service to the Society Award. 

Since 2010, Dr. Roca has been working full-time as a diversity consultant helping graduate students transition to postdoc training and helping grads/postdocs transition to professional positions. He accomplishes this by working with trainees directly as a career coach as well as by connecting institutional diversity stakeholders to job candidates. Finally, his non-profit, DiverseScholar (a project of Community Partners), was established in the spring of 2012 and represents the organization's targeted audience of doctoral graduate students, postdocs, and junior professionals as well as activities involving multiple areas of diversity.


Mentor's Motivational Message


Contact Information

Affiliation:  Executive Director

DiverseScholar, a project of Community Partners

P.O. Box 6414
Irvine, CA 92612
Phone:  N/A
Fax:  N/A
Email: (preferred)  info@minoritypostdoc.org
FASEB Society Member:  ASBMB, ISCB
Scientific Discipline:  Biochemical Sciences / Molecular Sciences

Social Media Links:

 LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/albertoroca
Epernicus: http://www.epernicus.com/people/albertoroca



ABRCMS 2011 Mentor:  YES
Former MARC, MBRS, RISE:  No





















Breaking the Ice - Alberto's "Q&A"

 What is the most beautiful thing about people?

 Their ability to form compassionate communities.

 What is the greatest value that guides you?


 Choose a word that best describes your life up to this moment.


 Which animal is the best and why?

 The giraffe since it captivated my daughter Andrea's imagination.

 What can you always be found with?


 My task lists in my backpack.

 Are you a Country mouse or a City mouse?

 I'm a Country mouse with a strong affinity for the environment.  However, I enjoy the comfort of a good bed and have no strong desire to sleep on the ground.

 Who is your favorite band?

 The Beatles.

 Do you make your bed every morning or leave it unmade?

 Who's going to know that the bed is unmade?? (Don't tell my wife.)

 What is the best thing you have done in your life?

  Met my wife, Nancy.

 What institution is most in need of change?

 Higher education needs to prepare for the demographic changes occurring in the student population.