Nav: Home

Tufts microbiologist Cecilia A. Silva-Valenzuela, Ph.D., named Pew Latin American Fellow

June 09, 2016

BOSTON (June 9, 2016) -- Cecilia A. Silva-Valenzuela, Ph.D., has been selected as one of ten Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and will receive two years of funding to pursue research in the United States. Silva-Valenzuela is a postdoctoral scholar in the department of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine.

The Pew Latin American Fellows Program, whose alumni have gone on to receive some of the highest distinctions in Latin American science, supports young scientists from Central and South America by funding two years of postdoctoral studies with distinguished mentors in the United States. Silva-Valenzuela, a native of Chile, will work in the laboratory of Andrew Camilli, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the Tufts University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Molecular Microbiology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts.

The Camilli lab investigates a novel use for specialized viruses to stop the spread of cholera. These viruses, known as bacteriophages, have the ability to destroy the bacteria that causes cholera. The team aims to determine which types of these phages can effectively eliminate the cholera bacteria in water.

"The cholera bacteria cycles between living in humans and bodies of water. If we can identify which bacteriophages are most adept at destroying the cholera bacteria in contaminated water, then we may be able to effectively prevent transmission to humans and avoid future cholera outbreaks," says Silva-Valenzuela.

Silva-Valenzuela received a doctorate in biomedical sciences in 2014 from the University of Chile, where she worked with Drs. Inés Contreras and Carlos Santiviago. She also worked in the laboratory of Dr. Michael McClelland of the University of California, Irvine, during her doctoral training. Last year, she accepted a postdoctoral position with Camilli, who himself is a 1997 Pew Scholar.

Established in 1990, The Pew Latin American Fellows Program has invested in young scientists who are exploring questions fundamental to advancing human health. In addition to the two years of postdoctoral funding, a subsequent award is given to fellows who return to Latin America after their time in the U.S. and launch independent research labs. Roughly 70 percent of past fellows have taken advantage of this opportunity and are using their training in the U.S. to build much needed infrastructure for scientific exploration in Latin America.
-end-
About Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences are international leaders in medical and population health education and advanced research. Tufts University School of Medicine emphasizes rigorous fundamentals in a dynamic learning environment to educate physicians, scientists, and public health professionals to become leaders in their fields. The School of Medicine and the Sackler School are renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, the biomedical sciences, and public health, as well as for innovative research at the cellular, molecular, and population health level. The School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School undertake research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical and prevention science.

Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus

Related Bacteria Articles:

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.
The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?
Detecting bacteria in space
A new genomic approach provides a glimpse into the diverse bacterial ecosystem on the International Space Station.
Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.
Bacteria uses viral weapon against other bacteria
Bacterial cells use both a virus -- traditionally thought to be an enemy -- and a prehistoric viral protein to kill other bacteria that competes with it for food according to an international team of researchers who believe this has potential implications for future infectious disease treatment.
More Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...