Dr. Rodriguez-Torres is the founder, president and chief medical officer of Fundación de Investigación (FDI), one of the largest clinical research centers in Latin America. FDI has played an instrumental role in the development of approved and future therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Dr. Rodriguez-Torres also served as a voting member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2008.
Dr. Rodriguez-Torres received her M.D. and completed her postgraduate fellowship at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. After finishing her residency in internal medicine and her fellowship in gastroenterology, she became an associate professor of medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and conducted a large private practice at the Ashford Presbyterian Hospital. From 1980 to 1995, she treated hundreds of patients with HIV infection and gastrointestinal complications.
In 1995, Dr. Rodriguez-Torres dedicated her practice exclusively to liver disease and started to conduct clinical research. Her first endeavor was an investigator-initiated study to treat HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with interferon -- one of first such trials ever conducted.
Dr. Rodriguez-Torres has presented hundreds of abstracts at international conferences, given lectures around the world, and is among the most published investigators in hepatology.
In addition to conducting clinical research in HCV and other liver diseases, FDI under Dr. Rodriguez-Torres' direction has expanded into monitoring standard-of-care therapies for HCV infection. She dedicates much of her time today to working with governments to increase access for therapy for patients without medical insurance, as well as working with health care companies to provide more cost-effective therapies.
FDI's most recent initiatives include the study of strategies to treat HCV-infected patients who inject drugs. Dr. Rodriguez-Torres studies alternative interventions among this challenging population aimed at decreasing acute HCV infections, getting patients tested easier, shortening the duration of HCV therapy and reducing the risk of reinfection.
With the help of various collaborators, Dr. Rodriguez-Torres is writing a book about the efforts to conquer HCV and her experiences as a female Latino investigator.
Dr. Rodriguez-Torres has received consulting fees from Akros, Bristol-Myers Squibb, EpicentrixRx, Genentech, Gilead Sciences, Janssen, Merck & Co., and Santaris Pharma. She has received research funding from AstraZeneca, Astellas Pharma, Beckman Coulter, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Human Genome Sciences, Idenix, Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Mochida Pharmaceutical, Novartis and Pfizer.