Pew awards research funding to 10 Latin American scientists

June 24, 2014

PHILADELPHIA--Ten researchers were named Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. By providing flexible funding and networking opportunities, the program allows early-career scientists to train in top U.S. laboratories and to develop skills and connections that will help them become scientific leaders in their home countries. This year's class will tackle some of the world's greatest health concerns, including autism, diabetes, hunger, and parasitic infections.

"The promising researchers joining our community of fellows today will no doubt make an indelible impact on the international research landscape in years to come. They are committed, creative scientists who will add to the world's store of biomedical knowledge," said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew's president and CEO.

Pew's Latin American fellows program began in 1991. It has since invested in more than 200 young scientists from across the region, including postdoctoral researchers from 10 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Fellows receive salary support during two years of postdoctoral training in laboratories led by prominent U.S. scientists. They are given an additional award if they return to their home countries at the end of the fellowship. More than 70 percent of fellows have used this incentive to establish their own laboratories in Latin America.

Researchers are selected by a national advisory committee composed of renowned scientists, including Chairman Torsten N. Wiesel, M.D., president emeritus of Rockefeller University and a 1981 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine.

"Pew's program sparks stimulating collaborations across geographic boundaries and scientific fields," said Wiesel. "These outstanding investigators have the potential to lead scientific communities in Latin America and around the globe. Pew's initiative--together with governmental and private support--helps make that dream a reality."

In the past 23 years, alumni of the Latin American fellows program have leveraged their training in the United States to become mentors to others. Many now hold positions of leadership in research institutions across the globe.

The Latin American fellows program operates alongside the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, which has fostered early-career innovation by U.S. scientists since 1985. Also today, Pew announced its collaboration with the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust to support early-career scientists whose research is aimed at advancing progress toward cures for cancer.

The 2014 Pew Latin American fellows and their U.S. mentors are:


Ezequiel Arneodo, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Dmitry Rinberg, Ph.D.
New York University

Luisina De Tullio, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Eric Greene, Ph.D.
Columbia University
Biochemistry and molecular biophysics


Andrea Caricilli, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Gökhan Hotamisligil, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard School of Public Health
Molecular physiology

Daniela Paula Thomazella, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Brian Staskawicz, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Plant and microbial biology


Matías Alvarez-Saavedra, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Michael McManus, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
RNA biology and pathogenesis

Pablo Lara-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Arshad Desai, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego
Cell biology


Juan David Ramírez Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Michael Grigg, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health
Molecular parasitology

Alejandro Vasquez-Rifo, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Victor Ambros, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
RNA biology and pathogenesis


Armando Hernandez-Garcia, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Samuel Stupp, Ph.D.
Northwestern University
Biomedical nanotechnology

Yuriria Vázquez Zúñiga, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Bijan Pesaran, Ph.D.
New York University
Systems neuroscience

For the fellows' full abstracts and more information about the program, please visit
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