Top Young Latin American Scientists Named Pew Biomedical Fellows

PHILADELPHIA, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten young researchers were named Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  For these scientists, who have dedicated their careers to finding solutions for some of the world's most troubling health problems, this fellowship will provide support that will further their research, enable them to work with colleagues in the United States, and increase scientific knowledge throughout their home region.

"For over two decades, the Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences has provided outstanding, early-career scientists from Latin American countries with advanced training opportunities and has assisted them in bringing their knowledge and skills back to their nations," said Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts. "We welcome the new class of fellows into a cohort of talented scientists who are leaders in their fields and who are contributing to the growth of a vibrant, interdisciplinary scientific community."

The Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences program provides salary support over two years for postdoctoral-level, Latin American scientists to work in top laboratories in the United States. When finished with the U.S.-based research, Fellows receive additional funding to establish labs in their home countries.

While the number of foreign doctorate recipients staying in the United States has never been higher—more than 60 percent, according to the National Science Foundation—over 70 percent of Pew Latin American Fellows return to their home country to help build the scientific infrastructure throughout the hemisphere.

The selection is made by a distinguished national advisory committee, chaired by Dr. Torsten N. Wiesel, president emeritus of Rockefeller University and a 1981 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. 

"The Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences recognizes and supports outstanding young innovators from a region of the world rich with talent," said Wiesel. "I am privileged to play a role in such an initiative that identifies bright young scientists and gives them the training and resources they need to be successful investigators in Latin America."

The Latin American Fellows Program was launched in 1991 to help develop and advance the scientific network of highly-trained researchers and to foster collaboration between scientists in Latin America and in the United States. To date, Pew has dedicated over $18 million in direct support for more than 200 Latin American Fellows. The initiative is run by the The Pew Charitable Trusts, which also directs Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences, a program that for 27 years has supported promising U.S. scientists early in their careers.

The 2012 Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences are:

Argentina
Leonardo Boechi, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Dr. Andrew McCammon, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
Computational and Structural Biology

Juan I. Fuxman Bass, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Marian Walhout, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Systems Biology

Jimena Giudice, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Thomas A. Cooper, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Molecular Biology and Development

Natalia Martin, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Alejandro Aballay, Ph.D.
Duke University Medical Center
Neuroimmunology in Caenorhabditis elegans

Luis Maria Perez-Cuesta, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Wenbiao Gan, Ph.D.
Skirball Institute, Langone Medical Center, Neuroscience

Brazil
Suzana Kahn
Laboratory of Irving Weissman, Ph.D.
Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Cancer Cell Biology

Renata M. Pereira, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Anjana Rao, Ph.D.
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Molecular Biology/Biochemistry

Chile
Leandro J. Carreno, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Steven A. Porcelli, M.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Immunology/Allergy

Mexico 
Daniel A. Silva Manzano, Ph.D.
Laboratory of David Baker, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Protein Design

Peru
Alfredo C. Criollo, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Joseph A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D.
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Cardiovascular Disease/Cellular Biology

For full biographies and information regarding the Fellows' research, please visit http://directory.pewlatinfellows.org.

The Pew Charitable Trusts (www.pewtrusts.org) is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts



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