Un Honor Mayor — Dr. Leandro Carreño, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Steven Porcelli, was among the 10 researchers who were recently named Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts. His selection recognizes his dedication to finding solutions for some of the world’s most troubling health problems, and his fellowship will provide support that will further his research, enable him to work with colleagues in the United States, and increase scientific knowledge throughout his home region in Chile.
Safe and Protected — Dr. William Jacobs, Jr. has been awarded a $6 million grant over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a novel vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease whose extensive drug resistance, along with socioeconomic realities, has stymied global control efforts. Using a genetically engineered strain of bacteria called IKEPLUS, which was shown to be safe and to stimulate an enhanced protective immune response in a mouse model, the researchers will evaluate the efficacy of IKEPLUS used both alone and in combination with the traditional BCG vaccine. Additionally, the laboratory will develop a manufacturing process for a human IKEPLUS vaccine and will establish biomarker assays to determine how well the vaccine protects against TB. This project represents a key effort to develop and optimize a promising vaccine for TB. Dr. Jacobs is professor of microbiology & immunology and of genetics at Einstein, and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Esther Berko, an MSTP candidate conducting her graduate research in the laboratory of Dr. John Greally, recently was featured as an expert responding to a “Got Questions?” blog on the Autism Speaks website. Ms. Berko is an Autism Speaks Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellow.