Kristine Garza

Bell Hall
El Paso Texas, 79968
Phone Logo(915) 747-8027
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Kristine M Garza
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences - Bioinformatics
Associate Dean, College of Science

The overarching focus of Dr. Garza's research was to understand the interactions between T cells and dendritic cells or macrophages in the induction and maintenance of T cell-mediated immunity. Her laboratory was also interested in how these interactions were affected by factors such as airborne particulates or adipokines. Her work focused on three areas: 1) the effects of nanocarbon particulates on macrophage function in the lungs; 2) the role of leptin on dendritic cells and what role this plays in the induction of productive T cell immunity in obese individuals; and 3) the potential inhibition of chemotherapy by leptin in obese patients.Dr. Garza primarly focuses on undergraduate student success. In the past, such activities included serving as the Principle Investigator and Program Director for several UTEP training programs; serving five years as a member and officer of the Board of Directors for the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); serving six years as a member of the NIGMS Minority Programs Review Committee; participating and mentoring in the National Academies/HHMI Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education in Biology; and serving as an Institutional Coach for the American Association of Colleges & Universities initiative “Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in Stem”. Her efforts have been recognized regionally (Distinguished Achievement Award for Service to the UTEP College of Science, Jack Bristol Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching), by the state of Texas (Regents Outstanding Teaching Award), and nationally (National Academies Education and Training Mentor in the Life Sciences). From July 2012 through June 2013 Dr. Garza was on a year leave-of-absence from UTEP to serve as the Executive Director for SACNAS where she continued to serve URM students while gaining leadership skills. She returned to UTEP and now serves as the College of Science (CoS) Associate Dean for Student Success and as the Director for the CoS Central Office for Readiness and Engagement (CORE), which focuses on student learning, engagement and professional development.


  1. Cellular immunology
  2. such as dendritic cells and macrophages
  3. cell-mediated immunity
  4. Undergraduate student success
  5. Active learning
  6. Academic advising