Catherine A. Blish, M.D., Ph.D., Acting Instructor in Medicine, University of Washington, and Associate, Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive a 2010 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for her outstanding work elucidating the role of neutralizing antibodies in HIV transmission. Sponsored by Merck, U.S. Human Health Division, this award recognizes an early career scientist for research excellence in microbiology and infectious diseases.
Dr. Blish earned her M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. After completing her residency in internal medicine, she entered the Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Washington and began studies of HIV at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She first characterized a panel of early HIV envelope variants that were transmitted heterosexually in Africa. These variants now form the basis of a panel of standard reagents for evaluating neutralizing potential of plasma samples. Dr. Blish has continued this work by evaluating immune correlates of HIV re-infection and co-infection. She demonstrated that even individuals with relatively broad neutralizing antibody responses could succumb to superinfection, or re-infection, with a second strain of HIV. Thus, preventing HIV infection by vaccination will likely require broader and more potent neutralizing antibody responses than those found in chronically HIV infected individuals. She is now extending this work to evaluate whether other aspects of the immune response correlate with protection from HIV re-infection.
|Contact: Garth Hogan|
American Society for Microbiology