May 2010

Member Spotlight

Spotlight---ParodiArmando J. Parodi

Fundación Instituto Leloir
Buenos Aires, Argentina

How long have you been an ASBMB member? 
I joined in 1997. Why did I join? Why not? JBC is one of the journals that best represents my research interests.

How do you feel ASBMB could best help young scientists in your country?
By providing fellowships for attending meetings in the U.S. and/or for short stays in American labs.

What do you study?
Protein glycosylation and glycoprotein folding in the ER.

What are some hot research areas in your country?
Neurobiology, plant biology, RNA transcription, parasite molecular biology and so on and so forth. There is a relatively high fragmentation of research interests in Argentina. This is a reflection of the fact that most established investigators have done their postdoctoral training abroad and have continued working on their postdoctoral fields of research back in Argentina.

Where do you see research going in your country in 5 to 10 years?
This is a good question. Probably to areas related to plant biology, as Argentina mainly is a food-producing country, but we are so unstable from an economic point of view that I’m a bit afraid of making predictions.

Do you collaborate internationally? Are there any barriers to collaboration?
Yes, from time to time. There are no barriers for collaboration at all.

Where do you get most of your funding?
Eighty percent is from the U.S. and 20 percent is from the federal government of Argentina.

How do you think research in your country differs most from research in the United States?
a) Much poorer funding, especially for heavy or more expensive equipment; b) salaries for investigators and fellowships for graduate and postdoctoral students are paid by the federal government, independently from grants; c) the universe of scientists is much smaller than in the U.S.; and, d) we have poor building and research facilities.

Did you do any of your training abroad?
Yes – two years as a postdoc at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and two years as a research associate at Duke University.

Do you publish your research in non-English journals? 
No, never.

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