David M. Tobin, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University School of Medicine, has been honored as a recipient of the 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award. These awards recognize and reward early career scientists for research excellence and potential in microbiology and infectious disease. Already Tobin has made important contributions to infectious disease therapeutics, explains Lalita Ramakrishnan, University of Washington. "His findings are changing the way we treat TB meningitis, and his work will pave the way for a whole new way to tackle TB, including drug resistant TB."
Tobin received his Ph.D. with Cori Bargmann at the University of California, San Francisco, where he defined the role of a set of TRPV-related ion channels in C. elegans behaviors. Bargmann describes Tobin as "scholarly and deep; a star in the making. An excellent scientist, Tobin is very smart and intensely interested in his own work and related work." After graduating, Tobin spent two and a half years living in Guatemala where he taught undergraduate classes at the national university. He became particularly interested in tuberculosis through an HIV and tuberculosis clinic he became involved with while there, and with which he continues to collaborate.
For his postdoctoral studies, Tobin joined Ramakrishnan's laboratory at the University of Washington, where he used a zebrafish model of tuberculosis. He developed a genetic screen in zebrafish to probe the host genetic determinants of susceptibility to mycobacterial infection. Tobin found that the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids plays an important role in susceptibility and has applied these findings in human cohorts. A functional variant in the human gene LTA4H is associated with disease severity as well as responsiveness to adjunctive therapies for TB meningitis. "As a postdoc in Ramakrishnan's group, Tobin was instrumental in developing a system to perform forwar
|Contact: Garth Hogan|
American Society for Microbiology