PASADENA–The California Institute of Technology is pleased to announce that José Alberola-Ila, assistant professor of biology, has been named a 1998 Pew Scholar as part of the Pew Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences. The $200,000 award will support Alberola-Ila's research over the next four years.
Alberola-Ila joined the Caltech faculty in 1997. His research focuses on one of the most important signal transduction pathways in the immune system and has used transgenic techniques as well as clever and creative chemical approaches to resolve some important issues regarding the pathway's involvement in the immune response.
"His addition to our Division of Biology greatly strengthens Caltech's immunology program," said David Baltimore, president of Caltech, in his endorsement of Alberola-Ila. "Dr. Alberola-Ila studies the intracellular signals that regulate T cell development and function and thus control how T cells respond to tumors and pathogens . . . He will pursue this research with T cells at Caltech, where, I am happy to say, he and I will have adjacent research labs."
Alberola-Ila is an honors graduate of the University of Valencia (MD 1987) and the University of Barcelona (PhD in cellular biology/immunology 1992). He specialized in immunology as a resident physician at the Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Servei d'immunologia, from 1988 to 1992, and was a senior research fellow in immunology at the University of Washington's Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1992 to 1997.
The Pew Charitable Trusts, a national philanthropy based in Philadelphia, support nonprofit activities in the areas of conservation and the environment, culture, education, health and human services, public policy, and religion. Through their grant making, the Trusts seek to encourage individual development and personal achievement, cross-disciplinary problem solving, and innovative, practical approaches to meet the changing needs of society.
Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and a faculty of about 280 professorial members and 284 research members. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL.
Over the years, 26 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni. Forty-three Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 faculty members have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award. On the Caltech faculty there are 75 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 46 members of the National Academy of Engineering.