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Immunity studies cross scientific and continental borders (video)

WHAT: Postdoctoral researcher Natalia Martin, Ph.D., is The Pew Charitable Trusts' biomedical researcher of the month for her creative work on neuroimmunology. Martin studies the role of the nervous and immune systems in the process of innate immunitythe body's first line of defense against invading pathogens.

Working in the laboratory of associate professor Alejandro Aballay, Ph.D., at Duke University, Martin uses techniques from neurology and immunology to investigate the role of nerve cells in the innate immune responses of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Her long-term goal is to apply her findings to the more complicated immune systems of humans and identify a mechanism that could be used for the therapeutic targeting of infectious diseases.

Martin's story is the latest in Pew's biomedical researcher of the month series. Pew's Latin American fellows program gives individuals such as Martin, an Argentinian, an opportunity to further their scientific knowledge through exchange and collaboration with investigators in the United States.

Since 1991, Pew's biomedical programs have provided funding to more than 200 young scientists from Latin America to receive postdoctoral training in the United States, resulting in advances in biomedical research, knowledge, and applications that span continents.

WHO: Experts are available for interviews regarding Martin's research and the program:

  • Natalia Martin, Ph.D., 2012 Pew Latin American fellow and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University.
  • Anita Pepper, Ph.D., director of the Pew programs in the biomedical sciences. Pew's biomedical programs include the Pew Latin American fellows and the Pew scholars program.

WHERE: Visit to view the video profile of Martin.


Contact: Chelsea Toledo
Pew Health Group

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