The Vilcek Foundation has honored Markita del Carpio Landry, faculty scientist in Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, with the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. 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 disease. She has also led work that has elucidated transport phenomena in plants, which has applications in agricultural biotechnology with regard to the development of food and medicine.
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established in 2009 as a complement to the Vilcek Prizes, to encourage and support young immigrants who have already demonstrated exceptional achievements, and who often face significant challenges early in their careers, the Foundation’s website reads.
Landry grew up in Canada with a dual citizenship between Canada and Bolivia, and immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old. She believes that the challenges of adjusting to American schools and learning English helped to inspire her interests in math and science, which made sense “independent of language.” Her work is highlighted in more detail in the official award announcement on the Vilcek Foundation website.