Pew Supports 10 Latin American Scientists Conducting Innovative Research

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Pew Supports 10 Latin American Scientists Conducting Innovative Research

PHILADELPHIA—The Pew Charitable Trusts announced today the 2017 class of Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences.

Ten pioneering postdoctoral scientists from Latin America will each be awarded two years of funding to conduct research at laboratories and academic institutions in the United States. The 2017 fellows are from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, and their research interests range from the design of mosquito control tools to combat the spread of malaria to how obesity, cancer, and other diseases develop.

“Pew is delighted that these rising talents will join our truly global scientific collaboration,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s president and CEO. "They bring with them new ideas, insights, and curiosity that will again demonstrate that science and discovery know no borders.”

The fellows will conduct their research under the mentorship of some of the most distinguished researchers in biomedical science, including alumni of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. An important element of the program is additional funding provided to awardees who return to Latin America to launch their own research labs after the completion of their fellowships. About 70 percent of program participants have taken advantage of this incentive and are conducting work on regional and global health challenges in nine Latin American countries.

“Almost 150 young scientists have returned to their home countries and established independent research labs, providing critical groundwork for biomedical research across Latin America,” said Torsten N. Wiesel, M.D., the 1981 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine and chair of the program’s national advisory committee. “The 2017 class is again made up of researchers of outstanding promise who will no doubt continue to enhance the growing biomedical research community in the region.”

The 2017 Pew Latin American fellows and their U.S. mentors are:

Cesar L. Cuevas Velazquez, Ph.D.
Laboratory of José R. Dinneny, Ph.D.
Carnegie Institution for Science
Plant Biology

Heverton Dutra, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Flaminia Catteruccia, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Immunology and Microbiology

Ana Fiszbein, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Christopher Burge, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Computational Biology

María E. Inda, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Timothy K. Lu, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Synthetic Biology

Rafik Neme, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Laura Landweber, Ph.D.
Columbia University
Evolutionary Biology

Ana S. Peinetti, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Yi Lu, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

José E. Soto, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Jorge Galán, V.M.D., Ph.D.
Yale University

Djalma Souza Lima Junior, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Silvio G. Temprana, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Hillel Adesnik, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Mauricio A. Torres, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Ling Qi, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

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

The Latin American fellows program, launched in 1990, is part of Pew’s strategy to invest in young scientists who are exploring questions fundamental to advancing human health. New classes of the Pew-Stewart scholars for cancer research and the Pew biomedical scholars were also announced today.

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

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