Meet the Team

Xavier Portillo, Ph.D.

Xavier Portillo (he/him) has mentored students from various backgrounds and identities for the past 10 years. He has served as a mentor and tutor during his undergraduate education at the University of California, Santa Cruz. While at Yale, he recruited students for the Biological and Biomedical Science Ph.D. program at national conferences including Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

For his teaching fellowship at Yale, he received one of Yale’s highest honors, The Prize Teaching Fellowship. For his research, he has received the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, and NASA. He has also been awarded a National Aeronautics and Space Administration Graduate Fellowship for his work on the RNA World and the origins of life.

Xavi received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his doctoral degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale University.

Fun Facts: Xavi is the founder of Yale’s first university-wide Graduate Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative (GUMI) program, which has recruited over 5% of the entire graduate and professional student populations to serve as mentors to undergrads.

He also supported in developing a multimillion dollar STEM Diversity program at his previous City College, which now serves thousands of underrepresented STEM students each year. In his spare time he sings and plays guitar. He enjoys surfing, hiking, camping, and playing most sports. 

Scroll to Top