Helena Carvalho, assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, recently received the 2011 Young Investigator Award from the Teaching Section of the American Physiological Society (APS).

The American Physiological Society presents the award to “outstanding investigators in the early stages of his/her career. Candidates should be investigators who have made meritorious contributions to the scientific areas represented by the APS Teaching of Physiology Section.”

“Helena has made a positive impact in our learning environments – from giving lectures to serving as a facilitator during small group sessions,” said Dr. Cynda Ann Johnson, founding dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “We are proud that another organization has recognized her efforts.”

Carvalho will also get the opportunity to teach younger students at Kids’ Tech University. The program was developed at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program to spark children's interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Children between the ages of nine and 12 registered to attend the program on the Virginia Tech campus for four Saturdays during the spring semester.

Carvalho will lead a session on April 9 on, “Why do we want to touch everything with our fingertips? And more ‘why’ questions about how our bodies communicate with the world.”

Carvalho joined the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in September as an assistant professor in the Department of Basic Sciences. Previously, she was a physiology instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2008 to 2010 as well as an instructor at James Madison University in 2007. 

Carvalho also held several teaching positions in Brazil before coming to the United States to complete her post doctoral work at Virginia Commonwealth University with a scholarship from the National Institutes of Health. Carvalho received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.