Diana I. Ortiz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology Department
Dr. Diana I. Ortiz has over 25 years of combined experience working in academia, industry, and government in the areas of vector biology, virology, biodefense, and public health. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico) and a master’s degree from Jackson State University, both in biology. In 1999, she earned a doctorate in environmental health/vector-borne diseases from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. After graduate school, she went back to JSU to serve as an assistant professor of biology for two years. In 2001, she accepted a post-doctoral position at the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where she studied the ecology of Venezuelan equine encephalitis and dengue viruses. Her projects specifically focused on virus evolution and emergence and vector ecology. After leaving UTMB, Dr. Ortiz worked as the assistant state public health entomologist for the state of Ohio and later as a research scientist at the Battelle Memorial Institute, in Columbus, OH. Since 2014, Dr. Ortiz has been teaching biology at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, a liberal arts college where she teaches cell biology and genetics, global health, and epidemiology, and maintains an active undergraduate research program in vector biology/ecology and disease epidemiology.