Women in Pathology is led by a diverse group of scientists – Dr. Pilar Alcaide (Tufts University), Dr. Jennifer Sanders (Brown University), Nakisha Rutledge (PhD candidate at Northwestern University), and Dr. Francisco Carrillo-Salinas (Tufts University). These co-leaders reflect the cross section of scientists within the ASIP membership and provide strong connections to the ASIP membership at-large, its elected leadership, and professional staff. Each of these co-leaders is actively engaged in the ASIP, contributing to the Society’s many activities and events, and currently serves (or has served) in its leadership.
Maria Pilar Alcaide, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Immunology at Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, MA). Dr. Alcaide is a current member of the ASIP Council as a Councilor At-large. She received the ASIP Cotran Early Career Investigator Award in 2018. This award recognizes early career investigators with demonstrated excellence. Dr. Alcaide received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Universidad Autonoma of Madrid, Spain, where she studied the immunological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi infection, the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease.
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”. In September 2011, Dr. Alcaide joined the faculty at the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, and started her independent research program as an Assistant Professor. In May of 2016, she joined the Department of Immunology at Tufts University as an Associate Professor.
Dr. Alcaide’s research focuses in understanding the role of T lymphocytes in heart inflammation and their impact in the progression of heart failure, with the ultimate goal of unveiling new pathways that can potentially be targeted in therapeutic useful ways. Her research has been continuously funded by grants from the American Heart Association (AHA), the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and other private foundations. In addition to research, Dr. Alcaide is committed to teaching and mentoring. She is the Director of the Inflammatory Chronic Diseases course at the Tufts Sackler School for Graduate Studies and actively participates in graduate education and mentoring. Most of her trainees have received awards from the AHA, the NIH, FASEB, and ASIP.
Dr. Alcaide serves in NIH study sections, including the Mentored Transition to Independence (MTI), which discusses scientific applications of the new upcoming independent research scientists. Dr. Alcaide is also a member of the AHA Early Career Committee, with the mission of promoting career development of young scientists, and a participant mentor of the ASIP Mentoring Program.
Dr. Jennifer Sanders is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Pediatrics at Brown University. Her research is focused on the signaling pathways and gene expression networks that regulate fetal liver development and liver regeneration to provide insight into the liver’s response to injury and dysregulated cell growth that occurs during the development of cancer.
Current projects in her laboratory include understanding how epigenetic regulation of the cellular phenotype of fetal hepatocytes contributes to the ability of these cells to repopulate injured adult liver and elucidating mechanisms of hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Dr. Sanders joined ASIP in 2010 and is an ASIP Ambassador, a member of the Program Committee and received a Summer Research Opportunity Program in Pathology award to fund an underrepresented undergraduate in her laboratory this summer. Dr. Sanders received her PhD in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Brown University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Gastroenterology at Rhode Island Hospital and then joined the Pediatrics faculty at Brown University. Dr. Sanders is committed to graduate education and mentoring. She is co-Director of the Pathobiology Graduate Program at Brown University and has been involved in developing grant programs for junior faculty members at Rhode Island Hospital. She also serves as a mentor in a summer enrichment program designed to expose high school students from nontraditional backgrounds to careers in basic and translational research through the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Brown University.
Francisco J Carrillo-Salinas, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the department of Immunology at Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, MA). Dr. Carrillo-Salinas is a current member of the ASIP. He has been the recipient of the ASIP Experimental Pathologist-in-Training (EPIT) Award in 2019, ASIP GALL Trainee Scholar Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research in 2018 and 2020 and ASIP A.D. Sobel Trainee Scholar Award in 2020.
Dr. Carrillo-Salinas received his Master in Neuroscience and PhD in Neuroscience from Universidad Autonoma of Madrid, Spain, where he studied the therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoid derivatives in experimental models of multiple sclerosis, and the role of gut microbiota in a viral model of multiple sclerosis. Then, he joined the Alcaide lab at Tufts University to study the role of gut microbiota alterations in T cell activation and in the progression of heart failure.
During this time, Dr. Carrillo-Salinas was awarded with an American Heart Association Postdoctoral fellowship, which contributed to the development of his project. He has made one of his personal and professional objectives to be involved in mentoring activities and the incorporation of under-represented groups to STEM fields. He is a faithful supporter of women in STEM and participates in initiatives helping women bridge the STEM gender gap.
Nakisha Rutledge is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University (Chicago, Illinois). Nakisha currently serves on the ASIP Committee for Career Development and Diversity. She received a BS in Biochemistry from Spelman College (Atlanta, GA) in 2013. Her undergraduate research focused on the identification of natural products as potential therapeutic targets for prostate cancer. During the summer of 2013, Nakisha worked as a research assistant at the Perinatology Research Branch at Wayne State University.
Nakisha’s PhD research is centered around the characterization of the adhesion molecule CD99L2 as a regulator of inflammation (funded through a National Research Service Award-F31 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). She has been a member of ASIP since 2017 and received the Promoting Diversity in Science Travel Award to attend the ASIP 2018 Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. Nakisha strives to increase diversity in STEM through actively mentoring underrepresented minorities through scientific community outreach and volunteerism.