Press Release

Pew Names Top Latin American Scientists as Fellows

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PHILADELPHIA—The Pew Charitable Trusts today named 10 postdoctoral scientists to the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences.

The fellowships are awarded to exceptional scientists from Latin America to pursue postdoctoral studies in the United States with distinguished mentors who encourage bold approaches to biomedical research that improves human health. Examples of research topics from this year’s class include examining the molecular link between Alzheimer’s disease and depression, and understanding why and how specific cell functions in humans deteriorate as we age.

"Mentoring and collaboration are key to scientific innovation," said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s president and CEO. "The individuals in this year’s class of impressive fellows are dedicated to a global exchange of ideas, and I suspect their research will inspire decades of discovery in Latin America and beyond."

After they complete their studies and return to Latin America, fellows receive additional funds to purchase equipment to establish independent laboratories in their home countries. Relationships forged between fellows and mentors can span decades and spark groundbreaking collaboration across the globe.

"Our competitively selected Pew fellows all share a burning commitment to explore science in the discovery of nature’s secrets to the benefit of mankind," said Torsten N. Wiesel, M.D., the 1981 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine, who is chair of the national advisory committee for the fellowship program. "These talented Latin American fellows will do their research in outstanding laboratories in the United States and no doubt spur advances in biomedical science to the benefit of the global community."

Pew has selected hundreds of fellows from more than 10 countries since 1991. Seventy percent of Latin American fellows have gone on to establish independent careers and research laboratories in their home countries, helping to address the “brain drain” that has plagued the region for many years.

Pew also announced today the 2015 classes of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences and the Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research.

The 2015 Pew Latin American fellows and their U.S. host institutions are:

BRAZIL

Jose Henrique Ledo Alves da Cunha, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Paul Greengard, Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University

Jhimmy Talbot, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Dan Littman, M.D., Ph.D.
Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
NYU School of Medicine

CHILE

Fernando J. Bustos, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Martha Constantine-Paton, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Juan-Pablo Castillo, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Maria G. Morales France, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Eric Olson, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

COLOMBIA

Gina V. Caldas, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Craig Mello, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School

MEXICO

Karla F. Meza-Sosa, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Judy Lieberman, M.D., Ph.D
Harvard Medical School

Erika C. Garay, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

URUGUAY

Bruno Manta, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Vadim Gladyshev, Ph.D.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Federico Rosconi, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Tim van Opijen, Ph.D.
Boston College

Visit the program page to read the fellows’ full abstracts and learn more about the program.

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The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.