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Isabella Santos, B.A.

Research Area Specialist Associate

Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Biographical Sketch

Prior to working at the NRLC I worked as a Research Associate for the ORALE Study in the Rheumatology department at the UT Health Science Center. This was a longitudinal study that observed environmental effects on patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as exploring if there was a correlation between Rheumatoid Arthritis and cardiac events such as myocardial infarctions. Throughout my time with the study my duties were to collect, transcribe, maintain, track ~1200 patients that had been part of the study throughout its 15 year run, and conduct psychosocial questionnaires both in person and over the phone.

Prior to working with the UT Health Science Center, I conducted research in the Language and Cognitive Lab at Texas A&M University. The focus of the research was on language brokers, specifically the difference between how language brokers vs non-language brokers process humor, prosody, and ethnic identity. Language brokering is a global phenomenon where the child of an immigrant family serves as the main translator between the immigrant family and their new environment; therefore the ability for the immigrant family to survive and thrive rests on the capabilities of the child to translate, interpret, and adapt, while balancing both their ethnic and host cultures.

Research Interests

  • Adolescent substance abuse
  • Effects of substance abuse on cognition
  • Environmental effects on language brokers


Year Degree Major Institution
2015 B.A. Magna Cum Laude Psychology Texas A&M, College Station, TX


  • Flamenco dancing
  • Travelling
  • Trying new foods
  • Providing comic relief as needed