NEW YORK, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Vilcek Foundation is proud to announce Fernando Camargo and Roberta Capp as winners of the 2016 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. The prizes honor young immigrants who have demonstrated exceptional early accomplishment, and whose careers contribute to the American arts and sciences. Each prize includes a $50,000 cash award.
Fernando Camargo is an associate professor at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Camargo's work has led to major technical advances in researchers' ability to track circulating blood and immune cells and uncovered surprising insights into their origins. Contrary to a long-held view that blood cells arise from so-called hematopoietic stem cells, Camargo showed that a different group of primitive cells called progenitor cells give rise to circulating blood cells. Because progenitor cells are more abundant than hematopoietic stem cells and also long-lived, the findings bear implications for improving the efficacy of blood transplantation in the clinic. Camargo has also unraveled the role of a cellular signaling protein called Yap1, which controls cell growth and organ size. He is working on developing ways to boost or suppress Yap1 in cells for an array of clinical applications, including cancer treatment and regenerative medicine. Camargo was born in Arequipa, Peru.
Roberta Capp is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Capp's efforts to solve problems that plague access to health care in the United States have led to insights on emergency department use by Medicaid enrollees. Capp found that many patients on Medicaid often depend on emergency departments for non-urgent conditions best treated in primary care settings, largely due to systemic barriers to primary care. To address the issue, Capp conducted a randomized controlled trial of a program of patient navigators, a term applied to trained professionals who work closely with patients to help them obtain timely primary care from diagnosis to follow-up. The trial revealed that patient navigation services made a significant dent in emergency-department use and hospital admissions. Capp is now working with Medicaid officials in Colorado to find ways to improve health care access and delivery for underserved communities. She is also exploring ways to reduce return visits to emergency departments that are attributed to medical errors. Her work has implications for making health care accessible, affordable, and patient-centered. Capp was born in São Paulo, Brazil.
In addition to prizes in biomedical science, the Vilcek Foundation also recognized immigrants in the arts with the 2016 Vilcek Prizes in Theatre.
To learn more about the Vilcek Foundation and the Vilcek Prizes, please visit Vilcek.org.
SOURCE The Vilcek Foundation