Portentous award of the Foundation of Bill Gates 3 Chilean scientists

Portentous award of the Foundation of Bill Gates 3 Chilean scientists

  • Each researcher will receive US$ 650,000
  • Economic support program is directed by Howard Hughes Institute and three others. There are 41 beneficiaries around the world. There is no other South American.

Three Chilean scientists obtained the international award of Early Career Award, which give the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Wellcome Trust and Calouste Gulbenkian, all under the umbrella of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Recognition, for researchers whose early career promotes the advancement of Science around the world, was for Fabiola Osorio, Carlos Blondel and Luis Larrondo. Three unique South American, on a list of 41 winners, who will receive 650,000 dollars (about 432 million pesos) each.

To obtain this recognition had to go through a long and hard road.

First proposed to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in written form and last June, a scientific project along with his vision to investigate it. They participated more than 1,400 scientists and 75 proposals were chosen. Then, in March, and the Wellcome Trust Foundation, London, pre-selected students made a presentation of their projects. Each scientist had just three minutes to perform an exhibition with slides. The jury was composed of a table of 15 scientists, of entities that provide Early Career Award, who finally selected 41 proposals.

The recognition was exclusively for those who were in United States, England and Portugal doing a postgraduate degree and that they then returned to their countries to carry out high-impact research.

The winners

Fabiola Osorio 35 years, is an engineer in molecular biotechnology at the University of Chile. He has a doctorate in Immunology and Molecular Pathology for the University College London, England, and a post doctorate at the Inflammation Research Center, of Belgium. He works as researcher and Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Chile.

His research is to understand the role of cellular stress such as a regulator of the immune response. "It's understanding what are the fundamental mechanisms that allow the cells of our body are kept healthy. If we know how to maintain balance, basically, are going to discover new therapeutic alternatives for treating patients with cancer or better understanding of infectious processes", says Fabiola.

And illustrates it this way: "when there is an infection, cells are alert and emitting signs of damage, such as lack of oxygen or lack of nutrients, noting the presence of an aggressor. What we do is understand how these signals change and alert the immune response."

Luis Larrondo 42-year-old biochemist at the Catholic University. He completed a PhD in biological sciences in the same House of studies and a post doctorate at Dartmouth Medical School, United States. He works as a professor in the Faculty of biological sciences at UC and is director of the Millennium nucleus of fungal biology.

His research seeks to decipher molecularly biological clocks, which allow us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature, as cycles of day and night, how accurate and robust. In his words: "alterations in these watches have serious impacts at the level of health, for example, metabolic and general welfare issues. The novelty is that we will create synthetic molecular clocks, trying to understand the evolutionary advantages of the natives, to elucidate the critical parameters".

Carlos Blondel 36-year-old biochemist at the University of Chile. It followed a doctorate in biochemistry in that House of studies and then a post doctorate at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in the United States. He works as an academic in the Centre of biomedical research at the Autonomous University.

His research aims to understand why certain micro-organisms that are in the environment, and which initially are harmless, can become pathogenic for us humans.

And throws an example: "in the case of the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which lives in the sea, our research points to that it has developed weapons to survive and defend against specific molecules of the amoebas. It is as well as, coincidentally, these same molecules are present in our intestines. You could say that when we consume foods with high presence of these organisms, as it may be to eat raw mussels, bacteria is confused and attacks cells of our gut thinking they are amoebas".

What will they do with the award

All scientists winners warned them at the end of March, by email, that the funding had been secured. Until this Tuesday May 9 reserve they had to share the good news. They have $250,000, 650.000 in total, will receive them during September. And at the end of the first four years they have to make a financial and academic, report detailing in what funds spent and what were investigated, so that only thus release them the remaining silver, which is parcelará in four batches of 100,000 dollars.

Three Chileans say that the funds will be administered by their respective universities. Fabiola Osorio shares it plans to buy equipment and supplies of cellular analysis and hire postdoctoral researchers. Luis Larrondo says that, being freely available, you can afford the payment of a benefit for their research Postdoctoral and also the purchase of equipment. Carlos Blondel ahead that you will also use them to acquire equipment and also to pay the salary of the staff.

The page from the internal revenue service, by the way, says that 650,000 dollars do not suffer cuts, because they are intended to the "Advancement of science" in the country.

Source: LUN.CL