Headshot photo of Zara Preciado-Carrillo, M.S.

Zara Preciado-Carrillo, M.S.

  • Senior Clinical Research Assistant, CEDAR, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine


Zara Preciado-Carrillo, a research-minded healthcare professional, joins CEDAR as a Senior Clinical Research Assistant. Most recently she worked with the Multnomah County Immunization Team at the Public Health Division to bring immunization services to diverse communities throughout the Portland metropolitan area.

Zara’s alma mater is UNMSM in Lima, Peru, where she earned a BS in Dentistry, and a DDS, Doctoral Degree in Dentistry. As part of her undergraduate studies, she began researching Trigeminal Neuralgia, TN expression in certain patients at the National Institute of Neurological Sciences (INCN) in her hometown, Lima, Peru. Publishing her thesis had a real-world impact wherein recommendations for changes in the practice and helped improve the prognosis for female patients over the age of 50 who were manifesting some of the TN symptoms, by introducing an alternative treatment with medication rather than extracting their teeth.

After immigrating to the United States and living in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco, she ventured across the pond and received a Master in Science by Research in Pharmacy and Chemical Biology from the University of East Anglia, in the UK. As a student researcher her studies focused on investigating the structural stability of RNA i-Motif (four stranded DNA/RNA structures) held together for a hemi-protonated and intercalated cytosine base pair (C:C+) by studying the effect of C-tract length on the stability of CnU3, and their link to cancer, diabetes and other diseases using some biophysical techniques like Ultraviolet (UV), Circular Dichroism (CD), and thermal difference spectra (TDS).

Upon returning to the US, she relocated to Portland and began working for Multnomah County. Then, in the Fall of 2021, she was accepted to the Bioscience Technology program (BIT) at Portland Community College where she has been thrilled to be back in the laboratory environment, networking and meeting other scientists and researchers.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cycling, and practicing yoga. She is also passionate about coffee and recently visited Cajamarca in the Andean region of Peru where she “followed the coffee route” by visiting many micro coffee farms entirely owned and operated by women.

As the newest addition to the team, Zara is contributing a unique perspective as well as extensive clinical and laboratory experience and plans to help advance CEDAR’s mission in outreaching different communities, and their management of early detection of cancer.

Investigating Stability of RNA i-motif: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69193



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