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Viral curiosity spreads across continents

WHAT: Biologist Esteban Engel, Ph.D., was named by The Pew Charitable Trusts as the "Biomedical Researcher of the Month," for his innovative work in neurovirologythe study of viruses infecting the nervous system. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Princeton University laboratory of Lynn Enquist, Ph.D., Dr. Engel studies the spread of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)which, in rare cases, can lead to blindness or lethal encephalitis.

Dr. Engel's story is part of a "Biomedical Researcher of the Month" series launched by Pew, and is the first to feature a Latin American fellow. Pew's Latin American fellows program gives individuals like Engel, who hails from Chile, an opportunity to further their scientific knowledge by promoting exchange and collaboration between investigators in the United States and Latin America. 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 that span continents.

WHO: Experts are available for interviews regarding Dr. Engel's research and the program:

  • Esteban Engel, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University
  • Anita Pepper, Ph.D., director of the Pew Programs in the Biomedical Sciences Pepper is the director of The Pew Charitable Trusts' biomedical programs, which include both the Latin American fellows and the Pew scholars program.

WHERE: Visit to read the full question-and-answer story, which covers both Dr. Engel's research and his motivation to conduct it in the United States.

CONTACT: Chelsea Toledo at 202-540-6846,


Contact: Chelsea Toledo
Pew Health Group

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