Pedro Rodriguez received his BSA in Biology (major in Food Science and Technology) from the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela (1988). He started as a TEM/SEM technician while he was still studying BSA at the Center for Electron Microscopy at the Sciences Faculty of this university. There he had the opportunity of interacting with a great variety of biological and non-biological systems to be observed at the electron microscope. In 1992, he received a Venezuelan scholarship and went to Paris 5 University where he obtained D.E.A. (1993) and Ph.D. (1996) in Cell Biology. His final dissertation focused on the function of the blood-brain epithelial barrier was awarded “Trés Honorable avec les Félicitations du Jury”. Back to Caracas, he started his academic career during 21 years initially as Assistant Professor and finally Full Professor before his retirement in 2017. During all these years Professor Rodriguez taught different courses as general biology, cell biology, electron microscopy oriented to biological samples, electron microscopy oriented to non-biological samples, low temperatures methods in electron microscopy. He was also appointed as Head of the Center for Electron Microscopy at the Sciences Faculty of the Central University of Venezuela between years 2004 – 2007. During all the years working at his laboratory, Professor Rodriguez interacted with professionals with very different interests. From biologist up to material engineers and oil industry people. This fact has permitted to him to develop the capacity of designing protocols adapted to different systems depending of the proposed goals of the project.
Professor Rodriguez research interests are always been focused in correlation between ultrastructure and macroscopic behavior of materials. Using freeze-fracture replicas, which is a method initially designed for biological membrane characterization, he was able to develop a method to study the dynamic of flocculation of asphaltenes in crude oil samples, under different conditions. He also worked in the design of a biosensor based on IgG-functionalized gold nanoparticles to detect tropical infections in human blood samples. Between years 2015 – 2017 Professor Rodríguez was invited to join the Electron Microscopy Core at the University of Chicago where he focused on CryoEM and Single Particle Analysis of membrane proteins. His duties were shared between the EM core and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department.
- Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
- Cryo Electron Microscopy (CryoTEM)
- Single Particle Analysis (SPA)
- Scanning Electron Microcopy (SEM)
- Low Temperature Methods for Electron Microscopy