Francisco Bezanilla, a Professor in Pediatrics, is an established leader in the biophysics of the complex systems used by cells to regulate their resources and activities, Bezanilla works with other physician-scientists in the Institute for Molecular Pediatric Science.
Bezanilla’s work focuses on how cells monitor and regulate ion flow through these channels. By manipulating the channel protein with molecular biological techniques, and using electrical and optical techniques to monitor structural changes, he has been a pioneer in the effort to understand channel function at the molecular level, which is expected to lead to the development of many new medications.
He joined the faculty at the University of Chile in 1972. In 1977, he was appointed Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. Bezanilla is the recipient of many awards in his field, including election to the Latin American Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences in April this year.
A native of Chile, Bezanilla earned his B.S. in biology and his M.S. and Ph.D. in biophysics from Catholic University in Santiago, Chile. He came to the United States in 1969 as a post-doctoral fellow in biophysics at the National Institutes of Health, followed by a second fellowship in physiology at the University of Rochester.