Morayma Reyes began her undergraduate career at the University of Puerto Rico where she majored in Biology and Chemistry. Thanks to excellent grades, Reyes was accepted to the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program for research. As a MARC student, Morayma decided to pursue a career as a physician-scientist and enrolled in an MD/PhD program at the University of Minnesota. At UM, Reyes was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship and completed a thesis related to Mesenchymal stem cells from Bone Marrow. Morayma expanded her knowledge and desire to learn by getting involved in laboratory work and mentorship programs. As a native of Puerto Rico, Morayma still kept in touch with old professors and family members through frequent visits to her home town.
Reyes has also been working in Muscular Dystrophy, and received a grant to support her research on human bone marrow and mesenchymal stem cells into skeletal muscle of an immune-compromised mouse model. Her ground breaking work earned Dr. Reyes a development grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association during her last year of medical school. After completing her PhD program, Morayma Reyes was offered a clinical pathology residency at the University of Washington. Here Morayma worked at Dr. Jeff Chamberlain’s Lab. This position gave Morayma a chance to expand her research skills in gene therapy and molecular biology, as well as intramuscular transplantation of stem cells. The University of Washington was also a great opportunity for Moryama to grow not only professionally but personally as well. She began skiing and hiking, which is still one of her favorite outdoor activities.
During the last 2 years of her residency training in clinical pathology, Reyes specialized in clinical coagulation. In 2005, she became an acting director in the department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington, and in 2006 Morayma accepted the position as an Assistant Professor in the departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.
While working at UW Morayma Reyes joined the Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine in South Lake Union (SLU). The UW Medicine research hub is a program that houses more than 600 scientists working in areas like biologic imaging, biomarkers, cancer vaccines, diabetes, heart regeneration, inflammation, microbiology, and proteomics. The focus of this program is for scientist to join efforts and build a research community at SLU. The exchange of ideas and expertise was facilitated by joint meetings, seminars and sharing of core equipment with cutting-edge technology.
In addition, the Institute of Translational Health Sciences provided guidance for the translation of ideas from basic science to clinical applications. In 2007, Dr. Reyes joined the Department of Oral Health Sciences as an adjunct assistant professor and expanded, where she was prompted to expand her research interest in stem cells from oral tissues and their use for craniofacial regeneration.
As the Associate Director of the clinical coagulation lab, Morayma Reyes provides clinical consultation and collaborates with other researchers that request the service of the coagulation lab. Dr. Reyes’ overarching role in these projects is to serve as an expert consultant and ensure the validity and quality control of all the coagulation tests. Morayma’s other clinical responsibilities involve the diagnosis of bleeding and clotting (thrombophilia) disorders and monitoring of anticoagulants.