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Three researchers win Burroughs Wellcome Fund awards for work on infectious diseases


Three UT Southwestern researchers are among 11 scientists nationwide to receive grants from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award program.

The funding will further the infectious disease research of Dr. James Collins, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology; Dr. Michael Shiloh, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology; and Dr. Sebastian Winter, Assistant Professor of Microbiology.

The awards provide $500,000 over five years to each recipient to support investigators at the Assistant Professor level to study microbial pathogenesis, with a focus on the interplay between human and microbial biology in order to shed light on how human and microbial systems are affected by their encounters.

Dr. Collins leads a team of scientists that is defining the reproductive development of the schistosome parasitic flatworm. Dr. Shiloh’s laboratory is studying how unique lipids produced by the tuberculosis bacteria trigger neurons to fire and induce cough, leading to the spread of disease. Dr. Winter’s team is investigating metabolic host-microbe interactions in the intestinal tract during infection by diarrhea-inducing bacteria.

These awards marked the first time that UT Southwestern has had three scientists honored in the same year in this category – not one of the eight other institutions selected for this award in 2018 had more than a singular grant recipient.

Since 1981, The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has supported research in infectious diseases by funding modern molecular approaches to understanding neglected diseases – such as tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, and human parasites – that primarily affect people in underdeveloped countries.

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