UCSF scientist receives prestigious award from Pew Charitable Trusts
Early-career researcher named Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences
BY KATHLEEN JAY
This week, Matias Alvarez-Saavedra, Ph.D., an incoming postdoctoral research fellow at the UCSF Diabetes Center, was named a Pew Latin American Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences by Pew Charitable Trusts, the Philadelphia-based non-profit organization. The program, established in 1991, 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.
Alvarez-Saavedra, a native of Santiago, Chile, will conduct postdoctoral research starting next month in the laboratory of Michael McManus, Ph.D., Associate Professor and the Vincent and Stella Coates Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research.
"The Pew award is indeed an important player in my career that will allow me to conduct my studies at UCSF," Alvarez-Saavedra said. "I feel extremely fortunate to continue my scientific career at the McManus lab -- so that I may decipher how gene network master regulators, known as non-coding RNAs, predispose, deregulate or alternatively may reverse pathological conditions, such as diabetes."
Alvarez-Saavedra was among 22 scholars -- whose fields of study range from genetics to neuroscience to biophysics -- to receive funding to investigate some of the world’s most pressing health problems. He joins a community of more than 500 Pew scholars, whose ranks include multiple recipients of Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, and MacArthur Fellowships.
"We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Matias Alvarez-Saavedra join our team," McManus said. "His work on non-coding RNAs in cellular development will further the Diabetes Center research on finding a cure for diabetes and related pathologies."
"We greatly appreciate the Pew Charitable Trusts in recognizing Dr. Alvarez-Saavedra," McManus added. "And the Diabetes Center at UCSF will be an excellent environment to train this next generation scientific leader of the international community."
Alvarez-Saavedra received a B.Sc. in molecular biology at Montclair State University. He then received a M.Sc. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and neuroscience-- both from the both from the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.