Teresita Bellido, Ph.D., has been named the next professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the UAMS College of Medicine. She will be at UAMS fulltime by July 1, 2020, succeeding Michael Jennings, Ph.D., who is retiring after 25 years of service in the post.
Bellido is a tenured professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine and an adjunct professor in the IU Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology. She is also on faculty in the Graduate School of IU and Purdue University.
Bellido was a member of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and researcher in the UAMS and VA Center for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Diseases from 1993 to 2008, when she moved to IU.
“Dr. Bellido is a superb scientist and highly respected, internationally known leader in bone research,” said Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., FACS, executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine. “She will bring great energy and a strong commitment to mentorship and faculty development to her new role at UAMS.”
Bellido holds multiple major grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as a Veterans Administration Merit Award. She serves on the Skeletal Biology Development and Disease Study Section for the NIH. Bellido will begin serving as president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) on September 22, becoming the ninth woman among 40 presidents in the society’s history and the first female president originally from Latin America.
Her lab at IU focuses on the mechanisms of signal transduction in bone cells with a particular emphasis on osteocyte biology in health and disease, bone cell apoptosis and mechanisms of action of bone active hormones. She will begin the transfer of her lab to UAMS after the first of the year.
Bellido received her doctorate in biochemistry in 1988 and completed an initial postdoctoral fellowship in 1990 at the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. For the next three years she trained with Stavros Manolagas, M.D., Ph.D., while he was on faculty in the Endocrinology and Metabolism Section at the Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center at Indiana University. In 1993 Manolagas recruited Bellido to UAMS, where he continues to serve as director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and director of the UAMS/VA Center for Osteoporosis and Bone Diseases.
While previously at UAMS Bellido was active in the Faculty Development Caucus, serving on the Women in Basic Sciences Subcommittee, which she co-chaired in 2000-2001, and in the mentoring program for postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. She was also a member of the Grant Process Committee (1999-2000) and the Research Council (2006-2007).
Bellido continued her focus on mentoring at IU, where she received the Women Faculty Leadership Award and the Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award in 2015. The ASBMR honored her in 2015 with the Paula Stern Achievement Award, which recognizes a woman in the bone research field who has made significant scientific achievements and who has promoted the professional development and career advancement of women. In 2018, the ASBMR presented Bellido the Gideon A. Rodan Excellence in Mentorship Award in recognition of outstanding support provided by a senior scientist who has helped promote the independent careers of young investigators in bone and mineral metabolism.