Women in Pathology Co-Leader – Pilar Alcaide, PhD

Pilar Alcaide, PhD, is the Kenneth and JoAnn G. Wellner Professor of Immunology at Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, MA). She was recently promoted from Associate Professor and was granted tenure. Dr. Alcaide was also recently elected to be the Graduate Program Director of the Immunology PhD Program at Tufts University.

Dr. Alcaide is a current member of the ASIP Council as a Councilor At-large and she serves as a co-leader for Women in Pathology. 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, and most recently became the Kenneth and JoAnn G. Wellner Professor of Immunology.

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. Pilar Alcaide explains How the Body Battles COVID-19