Class of 2014 Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences

Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts

Location(s): Chile


I was born and raised in Santiago, Chile and obtained my B.Sc. in molecular biology at Montclair State University in NJ, USA with a minor in Philosophy. I then worked as staff scientist at CECS, in Valdivia, Chile, investigating the reversiblity of Rett syndrome in MeCP2 mouse models of the disease. I then moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where I obtained my M.Sc. on miRNA chronobiology, and then my Ph.D. on the role of the ISWI chromatin remodeling proteins (Snf2h and Snf2l) in brain development and function.The Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides support for young scientists from Latin America to receive postdoctoral training in the United States. 


I plan to address the interplay between distinct and dynamic processes that function in the accurate propagation of appropriate chromatin domains during DNA replication and in the output to transcription of a key chromatin signature in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) before and after its restructuring during differentiation. These studies will likely give rise to general models that may explain how the dynamic state of chromatin is preserved through the replicating and transcribing machineries with which it interfaces. My work will probe aspects of the molecular mechanisms of epigenetics by addressing the specific means by which metastable transcriptional states are established in response to developmental and environmental signals, and persist throughout the course of cell division. In addition, the study of chromatin domains may highlight possible therapeutic interventions in the case of diseased states such as cancer.