Alicia Carrillo-Sepulveda, PhD, is a vascular physiologist with training from prestigious institutes in Brazil and the United States. Her career began in the clinical setting, as she initially worked as a practitioner nurse specialized in cardiology. After spending more than five years at the Heart Institute at the University of São Paulo, one of the largest cardiology hospitals in South America, Alicia pursued a PhD at the same university and studied how thyroid hormones affect the vascular system. For her subsequent postdoctoral training in the United States, Alicia investigated the mechanisms of blood pressure during vascular complications of diabetes.
Eventually, Alicia settled down in New York, where she gained a faculty position at the Institute of Technology and established an independent research program in vascular function and metabolism. Currently, her lab is working on understanding the mechanisms by which metabolic stressors negatively impact the vascular system. In particular, Alicia is investigating how metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes affect vascular function and integrity, as individuals with these diseases have a high chance of developing hypertension.
Alicia recently won a Kent Scientific scholarship for the Comprehensive Training Program for Rodent Microvascular Surgery at Columbia University! We sat down with Alicia to get an understanding of her motivation for applying to this scholarship, what she hoped to learn from this workshop, how these skills will help her conduct her research, and more.