BWF Announces 2012 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

15 May 2012

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Board of Directors approved support for 10 assistant professors, the 2012 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease, at its May meeting. The award provides $500,000 for assistant professors to study the interaction of human and microbial biology.

The awards are intended to give recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue high-risk projects and new avenues of inquiry. Work supported has the potential to advance the understanding of how microbes and the human system interact, especially in the context of infection.

“This program allows investigators to get creative and take risks with their research,” said BWF President John Burris. “These assistant professors continue in a long tradition of the Fund’s support of investigations of pathogenesis and a wide variety of pathogenic organisms ranging from viruses to eukaryotes.”

Since the program was launched in 2002, 98 researchers have been selected for an investment of nearly $52 million.

The 2012 Investigators at the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease are:

Neal M. Alto, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas
Systems architecture of bacterial effector/host membrane interactions

Anna I. Bakardjiev, M.D.
University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine
Pregnancy-related pathogenicity determinants of Listeria monocytogenes

Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Tuning of the host-bacterial interaction by a pore-forming toxin

Carolyn B. Coyne, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Actin cytoskeleton and antiviral innate immune signaling

Sarah M. Fortune, M.D.
Harvard University
Quick change: polarity, diversity and virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Chyi-Song Hsieh, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
Host discrimination between pathogenic and commensal bacteria in the colon

Jonathan C. Kagan, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Novel approaches to study RIG-I like receptor mediated antiviral immunity

Julie K. Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas
How gut microbes enhance enteric virus infectivity

Christopher S. Sullivan, Ph.D.
University of Texas-Austin
Herpes virus immune evasion via non-coding RNA regulatory elements

Sing Sing Way, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Minnesota Medical School
Maternal regulatory T cells control the immune pathogenesis of prenatal infection


Media/PIO Contact:  Russ Campbell -