LJI researcher named Pew Latin American Fellow in Biomedical Sciences

Hugo Sepúlveda receives prestigious fellowship in recognition of his innovative research

LA JOLLA, CA—Postdoctoral researcher Hugo Sepúlveda, Ph.D., has been named a 2018 Pew Latin American Fellow in Biomedical Sciences, the Pew Charitable Trust announced today. Only one of ten awardees, Sepúlveda will receive two years of funding to study with Anjana Rao, Ph.D., professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.

Sepúlveda will probe how regulatory proteins called TETs influence the formation of specialized cell types and how dysregulation of their activity is involved in cancer. A better understanding of how TET proteins control cell proliferation and cell fate could provide new targets for the treatment of cancer and help advance stem cell therapies.

Dr. Hugo Sepúlveda, Latin America Pew Fellow

“I am very grateful for the wonderful support of my work and scientific career, which allows me to follow my fundamental interest in understanding how epigenetics mechanisms act to control gene expression,” said Dr. Sepúlveda. “The main goal of my work with Dr. Rao will be to expand our knowledge about the role of TET proteins in processes like cell differentiation and nutrition sensing. “

After the fellowship ends, Pew provides additional funding to awardees who return to Latin America to launch their own labs. About 70 percent of past fellows have taken advantage of this incentive, and many now lead major academic and scientific research efforts in their home countries.

“We’re delighted to help these outstanding researchers secure training and mentorship in some of the world’s leading laboratories,” said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew’s president and CEO. “They make up an exemplary group committed to building biomedical expertise in Latin America and advancing human health around the globe.”

“These young Pew fellows hold great promise not only as innovative scientists, but also as the next generation of leaders at research institutions throughout Latin America,” said Eva Nogales, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and incoming chair of the program’s national advisory committee.

About Hugo Sepúlveda
Hugo Sepúlveda, Ph.D., received his undergraduate and masters degrees from University of Concepción and a doctorate in molecular biosciences in 2016 from Andrés Bello University in Santiago, Chile. He continued working in Chile until 2017, when he accepted a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. Anjana Rao, Visit the program page to read the fellows’ full abstracts and learn more about the program.

About the Pew Charitable Trust
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. The Latin American fellows program, launched in 1990, is part of Pew’s investment in young scientists who are exploring questions fundamental to advancing human health. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.

About La Jolla Institute for Immunology
The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.