Navigation Links
The American Society for Microbiology honors Susan Sharp

Washington, DCJune 6, 2012 Anthony R. Richardson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of North Carolina Hill School of Medicine, has been honored with one of two 2012 Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Awards. These awards, given annually to two young scientists to recognize and award excellence in basic research in medical microbiology and infectious diseases, are presented in memory of Irving S. Sigal, an instrumental figure in the early discovery of therapies to treat HIV/AIDS. "Richardson is a remarkably imaginative scientist whose work bridges microbial physiology, metabolism, and pathogenesis," states his nominator, William Goldman from the University of North Carolina. "His approach is interdisciplinary and mechanistic, and his work has profound implications for understanding the evolution and emergence of highly virulent pathogens."

Richardson received his B.S. in genetic and bioengineering from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Emory University. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in bacterial physiology and pathogenesis at the University of Washington, where he worked in the laboratory of Ferric Fang, who described Richardson as "extremely curious, interactive, and remarkably well readan exceedingly bright and creative scientist who is poised to make major contributions to the field of bacterial pathogenesis."

Richardson's research has always been focused on the role of basic bacterial physiology in the virulence of important human pathogens. As a graduate student, he investigated the role of DNA repair in modulating immune avoidance in epidemic meningococcal meningitis. His findings showed that the rapid host-to-host spread of Neisseria meningitidis in sub-Saharan Africa during seasonal epidemics selected for strains lacking certain aspects of DNA repair. Given the nature of N. menigitidis, this resulted in bacterial populations with extremely diversified surface immunogenicity facilitating rapid adaptation to new hosts.

As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Richardson continued studying bacterial metabolism in the context of its interaction with host innate immunity. He showed that host-production of nitric oxide (NO), a broad-spectrum immune effector, targeted multiple metabolic enzymes inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria. In contrast, he found that the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, unlike all other tested bacteria including coagulase negative staphylococci, was able to resist the cytotoxic effects of host NO and thrive in its presence. S. aureus NO-resistance was shown to be essential for full virulence and hinged on the ability of the bacterium to evoke a metabolic state inherently resistant to the effects of this immune radical.

In 2008, Dr. Richardson established his laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focusing on the metabolic adaptations of S. aureus to host immunitywork that was soon featured as a Science cover article. Richardson's research studies how the availability of host arginine affects the outcomes of S. aureus infections. While the host converts free arginine to NO in response to inflammatory stimuli, arginine can also be converted to a class of compounds known as polyamines under similar conditions. S. aureus can resist the effects of NO, but for unknown reasons certain species of polyamines are lethal to the pathogen. Dr. Richardson's laboratory studies the battle between the host and S. aureus over the fate of free arginine. Mark Smeltzer, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, calls his work "both insightful and scientifically compelling, without exception."

Richardson's late graduate mentor, Igor Stojilijkovic, summarized Richardson to Fang: "He has a big brain, but his heart is even bigger. He is one of those rare individuals who you know will make it in any endeavor he chooses to follow."


Contact: Garth Hogan
American Society for Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. The American Society for Microbiology honors Geoffrey L. Smith
2. The American Society for Microbiology honors I. Kaye Wachsmuth
3. The American Society for Microbiology honors Bess B. Ward
4. University of Tennessee anthropologists find American heads are getting larger
5. Steve Fisher joins American Health IT LLC as VP of Operations
6. The American Society for Microbiology honors Ellen Jo Baron
7. New study published on fertility awareness among American university students
8. Elsevier selected as new publisher of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
9. Professor known for work with hunter-gatherers elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
10. Scripps Research Institute Professor Gerald F. Joyce elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
11. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart ... recently interviewed on The RedChip Money Report ... on Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg Australia, ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of the ... with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for ... presents this award to the company that has developed ... of the market it serves. The award recognizes the ... on customer base demands, the overall impact it has ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 19, 2015  Although some 350 companies are actively ... a few companies, according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche ... the market share of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing ... Market for Molecular Diagnostic s .    ... still controlled by one company and only a handful ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York on ... Dr. Helen Torley , president and CEO, will provide a ... New York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. ... communication and investor relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) ... of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as of ... corporate developments that would cause the recent movements in ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its ... as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV ... embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or ... Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to the ... on November 23, 2015, which will result in ... giving effect to the issuance of such shares, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: