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Recinto de Ciencias Médicas

Mensaje del Rector / A Message from the Chancellor

Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, MD, FACS

In Puerto Rico, we are challenged by several chronic and devastating illnesses, most with incidences higher than in other countries of the world, among them, Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Cancer, Stroke, and mental conditions. The Medical Sciences Campus must lead the Island´s Agenda to improve the health status of our population, allied to the Health Department, other health sciences academic and clinical services institutions.

My main goal is to integrate the efforts of the six professional schools that compose this Campus, fostering the development of a diverse and comprehensive academic health center in which novel preventive and curative treatments will be explored.

The Medical Sciences Campus is one of eleven academic units within the University of Puerto Rico Higher Education System. We have a dual role in academics by also assuming a leading position as an Interdisciplinary Academic Health Center, with international prestige, dedicated to:

  • education in the health sciences field
  • the advancement of knowledge through state of the art research projects
  • the development of health services delivery models and public policy for Puerto Rico

As an Academic Health Center, we have a unique strength, being the only one in the Island to offer professional degrees for most of today's existing health sciences careers, ranging from associate to doctoral degrees. We foster the advancement of scholastic activity through the development of programs and initiatives in teaching, research, and service, committed with innovation and excellence. Our main focus and energies are concentrated in promoting and supporting interdisciplinary and synergistic initiatives that embrace the faculty and students of the six professional schools that compose the Campus; Medicine, Dental Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Health Sciences, and Nursing. A very important objective to be pursued is to engage junior and mid-stage faculty from all of the Campus' Schools to become involved in research. Through the course of the current academic year, 2009-2010 we are receiving $13 millions in federal funds from ARRA. An innovative platform for research is being established at the Campus, where biomedical research merges with preventive and clinical treatment. Projects related to the new trends for prevention and treatment modalities, such as translational research and personalized medicine, are also being initiated. Some of these projects are being developed in collaboration with other academic and health institutions, both at the national and local levels. In order to continue implementing novel education strategies in the classrooms and in the clinical teaching sites, faculty development and continued education programs are also essential.

The Medical Sciences Campus Administrative Team is committed to the continuous improvement of services for our visitors and the constituents of the Campus; faculty, students and non-teaching personnel. You can also send your comments and suggestions via email to maribel.muriel@upr.edu or contact the Chancellor's Office by phone at 1-787-758-4417.

Thanks for visiting our Webpage. I invite you to spend some additional time with us, accessing the other sections of this cybernetic site, so you can discover the diverse and comprehensive menu of academic offerings, research projects, news, and events currently going on in the Medical Sciences Campus.

As the leader of this Campus, I will continue pursuing excellence in the development of the Medical Sciences Campus mission to serve the University and the Puerto Rico community.

Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, MD, FACS

Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Mercado
Academic/Professional Statement

Dr. Rafael Rodriguez Mercado is an alumni of the School of Medicine of the UPR-Medical Sciences Campus where he obtained his M.D. degree in 1988. He completed his residency in Neurosurgery in 1995 at UPR-MSC, and proceeded to pursue a fellowship in Clinical Neurology from Massachusetts General (1993). He also completed fellowships in Interventional Radiology UPR-MSC in 1995 and in Endovascular Neuro-Surgery at State University of New York, Buffalo (1997).

After completing studies, in 1997 Dr. Rafael Rodriguez Mercado was recruited as faculty of UPR-MSC School of Medicine. He has developed several research projects during the past 12 years. Currently, he has four active projects in the study of Aneurysm and Stroke, under a translational research model. He has institutionalized and is the Director, since 2001, of a Fellowship in Endovascular Surgery at UPR-MSC, School of Medicine. This Fellowship Program has trained six "fellows" which are serving not only Puerto Rico but also other countries in Central and South America. This Program currently has three "Fellows" in training. Dr. Rodríguez Mercado has published 18 peer reviewed journal articles and has also authored two book chapters. Through his academic career he has made over 130 oral and poster presentations in local, national and international meetings. Please refer to Dr. Rodríguez Mercado Curriculum Vitae.

Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Mercado is a member of the US Army Reserve. He was Commander of the 369 Reserve Hospital Unit during the years 2002-2004. He is also a member of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, and Brooke Army Center. Dr. Rodríguez Mercado is the Command Surgeon 1st MSC USAR in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Mercado has always shown a high degree of professionalism, integrity and loyalty towards the Institution. He is the Director and Chief of the Neuro-Endovascular Surgical Unit of the UPR-MSC School of Medicine. This Center also serves the patients of the Administration of Medical Services of Puerto Rico (known for its initials in Spanish as "ASEM"). He is a member of several professional organizations and also offers his services Ad-Honorem to the Puerto Rico Health Department as a member of the Catastrophic Diseases Board.

Dr. Rodríguez Mercado's professional/academic background and experience definitely constitute a strength towards the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of our Institution.