Meet this month’s Member Spotlight, Pilar Alcaide, PhD, Assistant Dean of Faculty Development, Kenneth and JoAnn G Wellner Professor, and Associate Professor of Immunology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Alcaide serves as a co-leader for Women in Pathology and began her term as Vice President of the ASIP this month (July 2023).
Dr. Alcaide completed her PhD in molecular biology from Universidad Autonoma in Madrid, Spain. As a recipient of a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Alcaide trained in vascular biology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where she studied the mechanisms regulating immune cell trafficking to sites of inflammation. After completion of her postdoctoral research training, Dr. Alcaide was appointed to Instructor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, where she successfully competed for a Pathway to Independence NIH K99/R00 Award.
Dr. Alcaide’s lab combines the areas of immunology, vascular biology, and cardiac physiology to study the adaptive immune response in diverse inflammatory settings, with a particular focus on the heart in the context of heart failure. The over-arching goal of the lab is to better understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms taking place during T lymphocyte trafficking and how those can potentially be targeted in therapeutically useful ways. In addition to research, Dr. Alcaide is committed to teaching and mentoring.
What is your favorite part about being a member of the ASIP?
The collegiality among members and staff; the feeling of being part of a welcoming community with diverse research, academic and personal background with whom it is easy and fun to connect.
What is the best meal you have ever eaten?
Many…. meals taste better when in a good place surrounded by nice people. I would say my best is any of the meals I have had with Spanish tapas—in Spain—surrounded by my family.
Who is someone who's made a big impact on your life? Why?
My parents. They taught me values that I routinely use in my life, they led by example, they invested in my education and supported my choices growing up. They were always there for me when I was far away and needed support when starting my own family while establishing my career in academia.