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UMMS scientist named 2014 Pew Latin American Fellow in the biomedical sciences
Date:6/24/2014

WORCESTER, MA Alejandro Vasquez-Rifo, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was named a 2014 Pew Latin American Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. By providing flexible funding and networking opportunities, the Pew Latin American Fellow program allows early-career scientists from Latin America to train in top U.S. laboratories and to develop skills and connections that will help them become scientific leaders in their home countries. Dr. Vasquez-Rifo joins nine other researchers named to this year's class.

"Being named a Pew Latin American Fellow is an incredible honor and a huge opportunity for me," said Vasquez-Rifo, a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Victor Ambros, PhD, the Silverman Chair in Natural Sciences and professor of molecular medicine at UMMS. "The Pew Fellow is unique in that it provides postdoctoral scientists the opportunity and financial support needed to pursue independent research when they return to their home countries."

Latin American 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.

Alumni of the Latin American fellows program have leveraged their training in the U.S. to become mentors to others. Many now hold positions of leadership in research institutions across the globe.

"The Pew program makes it possible for me to return to South America and potentially establish my own lab," said Vasquez-Rifo. "If I could return and serve as a mentor to others pursuing science as a career, that would be a wonderful thing."

With the Pew support, Vasquez-Rifo will explore how physiological stresses, such as starvation or infection, can trigger an
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Contact: Jim Fessenden
james.fessenden@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert  

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