Alum Markita del Carpio Landry wins Vilcek Prize

Date

09/07/21

The Vilcek Foundation has awarded Markita del Carpio Landry (PhD, ’12) a Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for the development of probes to visualize neurochemical communication in the brain, and for breakthroughs in gene-editing technologies with applications for agriculture and the development of biologic drugs.

The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and the contributions of foreign-born individuals to the arts, sciences, and humanities, awarding each year three major prizes: the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts and Humanities, and the Vilcek Prize for Excellence. The 2022 prizes total $600,000 and recognize foreign-born scientists and artists in the U.S.

Born in Quebec, Canada to a Bolivian mother and French Canadian father, del Carpio Landry is an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an investigator with the Innovative Genomics Institute and with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. She is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

She grew up a dual citizen of Bolivia and Canada, but when she was 14, her family immigrated to the United States where the challenge of being thrust into a new school while learning English bolstered del Carpio Landry’s love of science and mathematics.

 “The classes made sense independent of language and set my path as a career scientist,” she said.

After her bachelor’s at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, del Carpio Landry went on to pursue her PhD in physical chemistry at UIUC as a graduate student in Yann Chemla's physics lab.

A physicist by training, she pursued postdoctoral work in nanotechnology and spectroscopy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to build a comprehensive set of skills which she would go on to apply in her expansive research. In 2016, del Carpio Landry earned a tenure-track appointment at the University of California, Berkeley.

Fascinated by the brain, del Carpio Landry’s work centers on understanding aberrations in neurotransmitter signaling—a fundamental component in psychiatric disorders such as depression, and schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Merging single-molecule biophysics and nanomaterials, del Carpio Landry has developed probes to visualize neurochemical communication at the molecular level; her research has yielded insights into the range of neurotransmitter “communication styles” and their responses to stimuli with implications on the variable effectiveness of psychiatric drugs.

In the realm of bioengineering, del Carpio Landry has also led work that has elucidated transport phenomena in plants. This discovery enabled the development of new techniques of precise and targeted gene editing without permanent genetic modification. These discoveries have enormous potential for applications in agricultural biotechnology with regard to the development of food and medicine.

A devoted mentor, del Carpio Landry is passionate about empowering the next generation of scientific leaders. “I am motivated by the knowledge that my presence in STEM sets an example for others from immigrant and non-traditional backgrounds,” she says. “While it is rewarding to produce good science, my greatest impact will come from producing great scientists.

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded over $6.4 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and has supported organizations with over $5.5 million in grants.

 

Directory

scheelinAlexander
Scheeline
bjmccallBenjamin
McCall
r-gennisRobert
Gennis
j-gerltJohn
Gerlt
sgranickSteve
Granick
mgruebelMartin
Gruebele
hergenroPaul
Hergenrother
huangRaven
Huang
mlkraftMary
Kraft
leckbandDeborah
Leckband
yi-luYi
Lu
martinisSusan
Martinis
snairSatish
Nair
eoldfielEric
Oldfield
cmsCharles
Schroeder
zanZaida
Luthey-Schulten
selvinPaul
Selvin
sksScott
Silverman
s-sligarStephen
Sligar
tajkhorsEmad
Tajkhorshid
zhao5Huimin
Zhao
pbraunPaul
Braun
mdburkeMartin
Burke
jeffchanJefferson
Chan
sdenmarkScott
Denmark
dlottDana
Dlott
foutAlison
Fout
agewirthAndrew
Gewirth
ggirolamGregory
Girolami
sohirataSo
Hirata
jainPrashant
Jain
jkatzeneJohn
Katzenellenbogen
nmakriNancy
Makri
douglasmDouglas
Mitchell
jsmooreJeffrey
Moore
murphycjCatherine
Murphy
r-nuzzoRalph
Nuzzo
dimerPhilip
Phillips
rauchfuzThomas
Rauchfuss
joaquinrJoaquín
Rodríguez-López
sarlahDavid
Sarlah
kschweizKenneth
Schweizer
jsweedleJonathan
Sweedler
vddonkWilfred
van der Donk
renskeRenske
van der Veen
vuraweisJosh
Vura-Weis
mcwhite7M.
White
sczimmerSteven
Zimmerman
beakPeter
Beak
wklemperWalter
Klemperer
jdmcdonaJ.
McDonald
pogoreloTaras
Pogorelov
mshen233Mei
Shen
dewoonDavid
Woon
wboulangWilliam
Boulanger
rxbRohit
Bhargava
qchen20Qian
Chen
jianjuncJianjun
Cheng
hy66Hong
Yang
andinomaJosé
Andino Martinez
decosteDonald
DeCoste
thhuangTina
Huang
tjhummelThomas
Hummel
dkellDavid
Kell
doctorkMichael
Koerner
marvilleKelly
Marville
crrayChristian
Ray
tlbrownTheodore
Brown
rmcoatesRobert
Coates
thdjrThom
Dunning
dykstraClifford
Dykstra
j-jonasJiri
Jonas
j-lisyJames
Lisy
shapleyJohn
Shapley
pshapleyPatricia
Shapley
zumdahl2Steven
Zumdahl
ksuslickKenneth
Suslick
jcoxJenny
Cox
sqdSean
Drummond
sheeleySarah
Sheeley
jsmaddenJoseph
Madden
cknight4Connie
Knight
schulzeHeather
Schulze
kbaumgarKeena
Finney
adkssnBeatrice
Adkisson
trabari1Katie
Trabaris
metclfKara
Metcalf
ljohnso2Lori
Johnson
lchenoweLeslie
Chenoweth
wdedoWolali
Dedo
spinnerDavid
Spinner
plblumPatricia
Simpson
stevens2Chad
Stevens
lsagekarLori
Sage-Karlson
bertholdDeborah
Berthold
kecarlsoKathryn
Carlson
sdesmondSerenity
Desmond
axelson2Jordan
Axelson
scbakerStephanie
Baker
pflotschPriscila
Falagan Lotsch
dgrayDanielle
Gray
thennes2Tom
Hennessey
holdaNancy
Holda
aibarrAlejandro
Ibarra
kimshSung Hoon
Kim
kocherg2Nikolai
Kocherginsky
philipk2Philip
Kocheril
legare2Stephanie
Legare
alewandoAgnieszka
Lewandowska
smccombiStuart
McCombie
jdm5Justin
McGlauchlen
egmooreEdwin
Moore
myerscouKathleen
Myerscough
snalla2Siva
Nalla
romanovaElena
Romanova
roubakhiStanislav
Rubakhin
shvedalxAlexander
Shved
asoudaAlexander
Soudakov
xywangXiying
Wang
kwilhelKaren
Wilhelmsen
wilkeyRandy
Wilkey
silongSilong
Zhang
schlembaMary
Schlembach
trimmellAshley
Trimmell
emccarr2Elise
McCarren
cmercierChristen
Mercier
atimpermAaron
Timperman
niesShuming
Nie
hshanHee-Sun
Han
mmgMutha
Gunasekera
kknightsKatriena
Knights
lisawLisa
Williamson
keinckKatie
Einck
kneef1Kate
Neef
txiang4Tiange
Xiang
j-hummelJohn
Hummel
i-paulIain
Paul
munjanjaLloyd
Munjanja
glnGayle
Nelsen
agerardAnna
Gerard
powerskaKimberly
Powers
lolshansLisa
Olshansky
miricaLiviu
Mirica
qingcao2Qing
Cao
lisa3Lisa
Johnson
tinalambTina
Lamb
baronpBaron
Peters
bransle2Sarah
Bransley
dylanmh2Dylan
Hamilton
raegansRaegan
Smith
apm8Angad
Mehta
leverittJohn
Leveritt
xingwXing
Wang
emillrEva
Miller
jmill24Jacqueline
Miller
jlbass2Julia
Bass
ramonarRamona
Rudzinski
tlcraneTracy
Crane
cejohnstCelia
Johnston
adlAmber
LaBau
cnsolomoCandice
Solomon-Strutz
mikaelbMikael
Backlund
jacksonnNick
Jackson