Analía Vazquez Cegla
I was born and raised in Asuncion, Paraguay. During my senior year of high school, I earned a scholarship to attend a summer science camp in San Diego, California. This life-changing experience not only ignited my interest in science, but it also got me interested in pursuing higher education in the United States. Through hard work and dedication, I received a scholarship to do my undergraduate studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. There, I received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with emphasis in Biomedical Engineering. After graduation, I worked for two years at a biotechnology company, Adimab, in New Hampshire doing antibody discovery and protein engineering. I am now a PhD candidate in the Molecular and Systems Pharmacology program at Emory University. I work in the laboratory of Dr. Nael McCarty, and my research focuses on identifying the main causes and consequences of Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is very near and dear to my heart. Besides being a CF researcher, I am also a CF wife. My husband, Alejandro, was also born and raised in Paraguay. We met in high school, became close friends, and started dating shortly after high school when we were both preparing to come study in the US. The day he told me that he has CF was a very emotional one. He shared the burden that CF has on his everyday life, but he said that despite all the challenges he still looks forward to his future. We have been together for almost 10 years now, and we welcomed our first son back in May of this year!! Seeing him become a dad has been a truly priceless experience, and I hope my son has many more years to spend with his dad. Sadly, Alex is part of the 10% of patients still waiting for an effective modulator therapy for his genotype. Despite the disappointment we felt when we got the news that his rare mutations were not responsive to current modulator therapies, we are thankful for the therapies he has access to currently and we are very hopeful that novel therapies will become available for him soon! Alex is my main motivator to do what I do today. He is a big reason why I became a scientist, and I want to do everything in my power to contribute to finding a cure for CF. We are very thankful for the CF Foundation’s support in the search for a cure!
I am now being honored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at a special event recognizing outstanding professionals in my community. In accepting this distinction, I have committed to raise money to help the Foundation realize its mission of curing cystic fibrosis (CF) and providing all people with CF the opportunity to lead long, fulfilling lives. Please consider making a donation to my campaign to fund research that can help Alex and many others like him! We are not done until it’s done for everyone!
More information about CF
Nearly 40,000 people in the United States have cystic fibrosis: a progressive, genetic disease that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. Sixty years ago, children with CF usually did not live long enough to attend elementary school. Today, because of Foundation-supported research and care, the median survival age of people with CF is over 50. Working alongside the CF community, the CF Foundation has fostered the development of more than a dozen CF treatments and helped add decades of life for people with CF. Yet, many people with CF do not benefit from existing therapies. Our vision is a cure for every person with cystic fibrosis – a life free from the burden of this disease – and we will not leave anyone behind.
To learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, visit www.cff.org. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those with cystic fibrosis. Thank you for supporting the mission of the CF Foundation!