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BWF awards $7 million to infectious disease investigators

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has announced the recipients of the 2008 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease awards.

The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award invests $500,000 during a five-year period to encourage aggressive, multidisciplinary approaches to investigating pathogenesis. BWF launched the program in 2002 and has made 72 awards for an investment of more than $30 million in the careers of investigators who are working on understanding the interaction between the human host and the infectious agentbacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic.

All awardees hold tenure-track faculty positions and must be nominated by degree-granting institutions in the United States or Canada.

"The constant threat of infectious disease is of global concern," BWF President Dr. Enriqueta Bond said. "This award provides risk capital for investigators to use new and creative approaches to study the interaction between the host and the microbe."

Following are the 2008 award recipients, along with their institutions and research projects:

David Artis, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Tracking helminth-specific immune responses in vivo

Richard Bennett, Ph.D.
Brown University
Phenotypic variation and host adaptation by the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans

Miriam Braunstein, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Identification of in vivo-secreted proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with roles in host-pathogen interactions

James Carlyle, Ph.D.
University of Toronto
MHC-independent recognition of infected cells by natural killer cells of the innate immune system

Stephen Girardin, Ph.D.
University of Toronto
The Nod-like receptor Nod9 links mitochondrial dynamics and innate immunity to bacterial pathogens

Chuan He, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
How Staphylococcus aureus senses host immune defenses

Kent L. Hill, Ph.D.
University of California-Los Angeles
Cell-cell communication and social motility in pathogenesis and development of African trypanosomes

D. Borden Lacy, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Structural mechanisms of Heliobacter pylori pathogenesis

John MacMicking, Ph.D.
Yale University School of Medicine
Immune control of human phagosomal pathogens by a novel GTPase superfamily

Adrie J.C. Steyn, Ph.D.
University of Alabama-Birmingham
Carbon monoxide and Mycobacterium tuberculosis persistence

Timothy L. Tellinghuisen, Ph.D.
The Scripps Research Institute
Subversion of a host kinase and vesicle trafficking components for the production of infectious hepatitis C virus

David Wang, Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
A genomics-based approach to novel viral etiologies of diarrhea

Marvin Whiteley, Ph.D.
University of Texas-Austin
Mechanistic insight into host modulation of bacterial group activities

Dong Yu, Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Modulation of the DNA damage response by human cytomegalovirus


Contact: Russ Campbell
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

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