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La Familia Gilman

La Familia Gilman (continued)

The Secret of Teaching

Manuela Verastegui, PhD ’10

When I was in the beginning of getting my master’s degree in microbiology from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in 1984, Dr. Gilman came to Peru wanting to do research on giardia, an intestinal parasite that causes diarrhea. When Dr. Gilman asked if he could work with some students, my mentor volunteered me. That was very lucky because in Peru it’s very difficult to do research since we don’t have much funding.

Dr. Gilman encouraged me to get a PhD in microbiology in Peru, and then used a training grant so I could get a second PhD in public health from Johns Hopkins. I’m now an associate professor at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. I would never have been here without his encouragement. Here, I’m part of a team doing cellular and molecular biology work to help improve our understanding of a variety of tropical diseases. For example, we recently published a paper about a mechanism that Taenia solium larva use to adhere to host tissue, findings that help us understand the mechanism this parasite uses to cause cysticercosis.

For a good researcher, it’s important to do not only research but also to teach. Not all researchers have this mentality, especially in my country. But Dr. Gilman says that he doesn’t keep secrets from anybody—he loves sharing everything. Now, I advise students in the same way that Dr. Gilman taught me, teaching them everything they want to learn, and encouraging them to leave and teach others. Something very peculiar is that Dr. Gilman is always motivating people to continue to prosper in their careers, to learn to write articles and grants. He is also a very kind person because he always cares about the welfare and the personal life of each person working with him.

I’ve known Dr. Gilman now for nearly 28 years, and over all that time he’s never gotten tired of working, and he has an incredible memory—even though he might have been away from Peru for two months, he’ll remember everything that people said at the last meeting. I tell Dr. Gilman that he’s younger than all the young people around him! He has so much energy.


This forum is closed
  • Rony Colanzi

    Santa Cruz-Bolivia 05/28/2012 09:05:05 PM

    Since I have known Dr Gilman, I think more of humans. He is an example of generosity and love for others. In Bolivia, we carry forward the implementation of laboratory research on tuberculosis and Chagas. Thank you very much for a life devoted to science, with such dedication.

  • Rafael Coria

    Mexico City 05/29/2012 10:17:25 PM

    Ha sido un gran honor conocer al Dr. Robert Guilman, su buen humor, sus criticas inteligentes y su humanismo son ejemplo para quienes anhelan hacer investigacion en beneficio de nuestros semejantes. From Mexico City to Peru.

  • Vita Cama

    Atlanta, GA. USA 06/14/2012 09:58:48 AM

    I am perhaps one of the elder member of the Gilman family, preceeding the times of training funds. We have worked continuously since he became my mentor in 1988. Bob's always evolving science skills and his human values have made a strong impact in my life. I am very grateful that Emico asked me to bring a pig in my car to Cayetano!

  • Brian W. Simpson

    Editor, Johns Hopkins Public Health 06/14/2012 11:13:13 AM

    That sounds like a great story, Vita. Please tell us more.

  • alberto saavedra

    america continente 07/01/2012 09:36:08 AM

    "Todo arte o palabra viene del pueblo y va hacia el" el conocimiento y las palabras del pueblo han brindado a Bob las guias de su invalorable sabiduria dejando sus huellas y su nombre hacia las futuras generaciones que lo seguiran con orgullo y felicidad muchas gracias "maestro" por sus esfuerzos y profunda perseverancia los multiples destinos lo recordaran con mucho carino

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