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Bernardo Pinto, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, has been named to the 2019 class of the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Pinto works in the lab of Francisco Bezanilla, PhD, the Lillian Eichelberger Cannon Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His research investigates how nerve cells produce proteins they need to support electrical activity and chemical signaling in their axons, long fibers that help connect to other nerve cells.
The 10 postdoctoral fellows from six Latin American countries—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico—will receive two years of funding to conduct research in laboratories in the United States, where they will work under the mentorship of prominent biomedical scientists, including members of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.
“Scientific exploration and discovery should be a global pursuit,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s president and CEO. “Pew is pleased to support these exceptional fellows from Latin America, who are dedicated to advancing biomedical research and expanding scientific expertise in their home countries.”
Research interests in the 2019 class include how immune cells in the gut distinguish infectious microbes from healthy bacteria, how the brain interprets and responds appropriately to sound, and the molecular strategies infectious bacteria use to invade plant hosts. Notably, fellows who choose to return to Latin America to launch their own research labs will receive additional funding from Pew. Approximately 70 percent of participants have pursued this path, with many now leading groundbreaking research efforts throughout the region.
“The 2019 class of fellows is composed of promising, dedicated, and passionate researchers who have the ability to chart new scientific courses in Latin America,” said Eva Nogales, Ph.D.,professor in the department of biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology at the University of California, Berkeley and chair of the Pew program’s national advisory committee. “I look forward to seeing where their innovative research interests lead.”