University of Richmond Biology Professor Omar A. Quintero Awarded Fellowship for Cell Biology Research

December 7, 2020

Pictured above: Omar Quintero, third from left, pictured with research group in the summer of 2018. Pictured below: Omar Quintero and image of HeLa cells he studies, which are in stained form: mitochondria (magenta); actin (blue); DNA (yellow).

Omar Quintero HeadshotUNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND ─ Omar A. Quintero, associate professor of biology, has been selected as the Keith R. Porter Fellow for 2020 by the Advisory Board of the Porter Endowment for Cell Biology. It is the first time the Porter Fellow has been a faculty member at a primarily undergraduate institution.

Fellows are selected because of their exceptional contributions to cell biology and the exciting prospects for their future work. Quintero’s research focuses on myosin motor proteins, which aid in the organization and transport of internal cellular structures, such as the mitochondria. His efforts are improving our understanding of cellular function and the roles of myosin proteins in health and disease.

The fellowship includes an award of up to $7,000, intended to support a project of Quintero’s choice related to the promotion of cell biology. There is also an additional award of $1,000 available through the fellowship for Quintero to give one or more lectures about his research to a high school or undergraduate audience with the objective to spread the word about cell biology as an exciting field of investigation.

“Keith Porter was one of the foundational scientists to establish cell biology as a field, and it’s an honor to receive this award, especially since it’s not something you apply for — the Foundation selects the Fellow,” said Quintero.

“This recognition highlights the fact that reImage of cellsearch groups made up primarily of undergraduate scientists can make meaningful contributions to the field. The 70+ undergraduate scientists who have been part of my research group since 2005 have all had a hand in this achievement.”

Quintero, who has taught at UR since 2012, has received grant support for his research in the past from National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Quintero was also recently named to Cell Mentor’s list of 100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America.