BWF Announces the 2017 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- As part of its continuing effort to stimulate fundamental research into human infectious diseases, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund — a private foundation making investments in biomedical research and careers for more than 60 years — has invested $6 million in grants to top pathogenesis investigators in the United States.

The 12 recipients of the 2017 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award (PATH) are assistant professors from Columbia, Duke University Medical Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Princeton, Stanford, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Pennsylvania, University of Utah, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale.

The PATH program awards $500,000 over a period of five years for faculty at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis — with the intent of boosting early-career, multidisciplinary scientists, whose innovation in biochemical, pharmacological, immunological, and molecular approaches can create new research pathways to understanding infectious diseases.

“Infectious disease research has to be nimble—new diseases are appearing faster than ever before, and we still don’t know enough about diseases that have been with us for thousands of years,” said BWF President Dr. John Burris.  “By focusing on the principles underneath—on understanding the how, where, and why our relationship with infectious agents becomes destructive, the BWF Investigators can get at understanding today’s diseases and tomorrow’s.”

Learn more about PATH and see a list of past awardees at

The 2017 PATH Awardees and their Research Focus

Listed by alphabetical order of awardee name.

Catherine Blish, M.D., Ph.D. Stanford University
Training natural killer cells to fight HIV

Caroline Buckee, Ph.D.Harvard School of Public Health
The impact of human red blood cell heterogeneities and dynamics on malaria parasite virulence

Jason M. Crawford, Ph.D.Yale University
A functional metagenomic screen to systematically identify human-bacteria interactions

Elizabeth A. Grice, Ph.D.University of Pennsylvania
Skin microbiome functions in colonization resistance to pathogens

Stacy M. Horner, Ph.D.Duke University Medical Center
Regulation of antiviral host response by RNA modifications

Adam S. Lauring, M.D., Ph.D. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The evolution of pathogen virulence and transmissibility

Andrew Mehle, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
Defining the functional landscape between intracellular pathogens and the host

Marion Pepper, Ph.D.University of Washington
The development and function of Plasmodium-specific memory B cells

June Round, Ph.D. University of Utah
Influence of the microbiota on neuro-inflammation

Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost, Ph.D.Princeton University
Deciphering the small molecule vocabulary of human microbiome Streptococci

Christina Stallings, Ph.D.Washington University
Consequences of neutrophil-mycobacteria interactions

Harris Wang, Ph.D. Columbia University
Mapping host-microbe and inter-microbial networks atultra-high spatial resolution