Dr. Ballester completed a B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, an M.D. degree at the UPR School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and molecular biology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Ballester joined the National Cancer Institute for Residency training in Anatomic Pathology, where he also served as chief resident. Pathology residency was followed by fellowships in Molecular Genetic Pathology at Baylor College of Medicine and Neuropathology at the Houston Methodist/MDAnderson program.
Dr. Ballester is triple board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology, Neuropathology, and Molecular Genetic Pathology. Before moving to MD Anderson Cancer Center in September of 2021, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (July/2017 – August 2021) where he also served as co-director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. In addition, Dr. Ballester is the principal investigator of an NIH-funded research program focusing on brain tumor biomarkers and minimally invasive diagnostic assays for patients with CNS tumors.