3 Pew Latin American Fellows Receive Scientific Honors

Awards note their research on stem cells, microbes, and cancer

3 Pew Latin American Fellows Receive Scientific Honors
Medical research

Three Pew Latin American fellows have been recognized for their work in the biomedical fields.

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Note: This analysis was updated on June 6, 2017, to reflect a change in one of the fellow’s field of study.

This month, three Pew Latin American fellows were recognized for their commitment to science and for advancing biomedical research across the globe.

Stevens Rehen, Ph.D. (2000 fellow), is the newest member of the Academia de Ciencias de América Latina (ACAL). Established in 1982, ACAL has played a crucial role in promoting scientific collaboration and knowledge for the benefit of human culture across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Rehen is a professor at the D’Or Institute for Research and Education of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and he also serves as chair of the Pew Fellows Regional Committee in Brazil. As one of the pioneers in the study of stem cells in his home country, Rehen’s research focuses on uncovering how stem cells grow and transform into neurons and has the potential to help discover the root of mental disorders and neurological diseases.

Two Chilean scientists, Carlos J. Blondel, Ph.D. (2013 fellow), and Luis Larrondo, Ph.D. (2004 fellow), were named 2017 International Research Scholars by the philanthropic partnership of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Blondel and Larrondo were among 41 international early-career scientists recognized with this impressive honor.

Blondel, who recently returned to Chile from his postdoctoral work in the U.S., is an academic researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Chile. His lab investigates the complex interplay among microbes, hosts, and the environment—work that builds on the understanding of emerging and re-emerging threats from microbes in the Latin American region. Larrondo, an associate professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, studies circadian clocks and the effect of clock regulation on fungal virulence and physiology.  

Similar to the support provided by the Pew biomedical programs, the International Research Scholars Program provides the freedom for these young scientists to pursue innovative and creative projects relating to biomedical research.

These three scientists are just the most recent Pew fellows to receive top scientific awards in Latin America. Next month, Pew will welcome 10 new early-career researchers to this dynamic group who will continue to contribute to the growing biomedical research community in Latin America.

Kara Coleman directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ biomedical programs, including the biomedical scholars, Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research, and Latin American fellows programs. 

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Since 1985, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 900 early-career researchers in the biomedical sciences. For more than 30 years, Pew has enjoyed seeing their successes and the significant scientific advances they have brought to their respective fields. Just in the past year, our program participants have shared and been recognized for discoveries in their research. Next month, we will welcome 37 new scientists to this community, who will no doubt join their peers in making considerable strides in the fields of biomedical research.

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