2020 Milstein Young Investigator Award Winners:
Aaron Ring received his undergraduate training at Yale University and entered the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program for his MD and PhD degrees. At Stanford, he worked in the laboratories of K. Christopher Garcia and Irving Weissman to use structure-based protein engineering to develop new cytokine and immune checkpoint therapies for cancer. He additionally developed novel methodologies in protein engineering to create biologic agents against challenging targets such as G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Aaron joined the faculty of the Yale Department of Immunobiology in 2016 as the Robert T. McCluskey Yale Scholar. The focus of his research is to understand and manipulate the activity of immune receptors using structural and combinatorial biology approaches.
Elia Tait Wojno, PhD
Department of Immunology, University of Washington
Dr. Elia Tait Wojno pursues a life-long passion for immunology research as an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Immunology. Elia received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, working with Dr. Christopher Hunter in the School of Veterinary Medicine to examine how cytokines regulate immunity to the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. She went on complete a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. David Artis in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College, focusing on cytokine and prostaglandin responses during helminth infection and allergic disease. As an Assistant Professor, first at Cornell University and now at UW, she continues her work in dissecting innate and adaptive immune responses following helminth parasite infection and during allergy, with a special emphasis on cytokines and prostaglandins. Her work aims to inform efforts to develop new therapies to combat infectious diseases, particularly diseases caused by parasite infection, and to limit allergic inflammation.
Professor Tait Wojno will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!
Zhenyu Zhong, PhD
Department of Immunology,
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Zhenyu Zhong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who is working in the area of innate immunity. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Loyola University Chicago in late 2013 and was recruited to UT Southwestern Medical Center in the fall of 2018 following his postdoctoral training at University of California, San Diego. During his PhD and postdoctoral training, Dr. Zhong has made several fundamental discoveries that contribute to establishing mitochondria as the command center for innate immunity. While at UT Southwestern, Dr. Zhong has built an outstanding research program centered on understanding how mitochondria in myeloid cells sense tissue damage, initiate inflammatory response, and orchestrate tissue repair/regeneration to restore tissue homeostasis. Additionally. Dr. Zhong’s group is also interested in understanding how dysregulation of inflammation promotes the development of chronic liver disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Professor Zhong will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!
2020 Christina Fleischmann Award to Young Women Investigators
Dr. Carrie Lucas leads a laboratory devoted to discovering new and translationally relevant principles of immunology by defining and studying novel monogenic human immune disorders. Combining human genomics, in vitro studies using primary patient cells, and in vivo mouse modeling approaches, her team seeks to gain incisive basic and translational insights starting with patients. Dr. Lucas is an Assistant Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. She received her PhD from Harvard University, where she investigated T cell tolerance in mouse models, and her postdoctoral training at NIAID/NIH, where she focused on human immunology in monogenic diseases caused by PI3K gene variants.
Professor Lucas will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!
2020 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate & Post Graduate Award Winners
POST-GRADUATE AWARD WINNER
Autumn York, PhD
Hanna H. Gray Postdoctoral Fellow
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Laboratory of Richard Flavell
Department of Immunobiology
New Haven, United States
Dr. Autumn York is an HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow in Dr. Richard Flavell’s lab in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale University. Her postdoctoral research investigates how the immune system interacts with the body’s metabolic pathways to control inflammation and maintain tissue homeostasis.
Autumn received her PhD from University of California, Los Angeles under the supervision of Steven Bensinger, VDM, PhD, where she was a pre-doctoral fellow of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program. During her graduate studies, Autumn delineated a metabolic-inflammatory circuit that linked perturbations in cholesterol biosynthesis with activation of innate immunity via STING/type I interferon signaling. Autumn completed her undergraduate studies with Dr. Dylan Taatjes at University of Colorado- Boulder, where she graduated magna cum laude from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Dr. York will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!
GRADUATE AWARD WINNER
Jack is currently a fourth and final year PhD student in the lab of Dr Andreas Wack at the Francis Crick Institute, London. His graduate research looks at how host antiviral immune responses can be harmful during respiratory viral infection. Specifically, Jack and his co-authors found that type I and III interferons interfere with lung repair during recovery from influenza virus infection, by blocking respiratory epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation. In his infection model, he found that interferon treatment late during the course of infection exacerbates lung damage, which may have implications for ongoing clinical trials testing the efficacy of interferons in treating patients with COVID-19.
Before moving to the Crick institute, Jack completed his undergraduate degree in Immunology at the University of Glasgow, in 2015. He then remained in Glasgow for a year, working as a research technician at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, studying the biology of the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
Jack Major will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!
2020 Inaugural Amanda Proudfoot Tribute Graduate Student/Postdoc Award for Advances in Chemokine Biology
Matteo Massara received his Master’s degree in Veterinary Biotechnologies with honors in 2014 at the University of Milan. He started his scientific training at the Experimental Immunopathology Lab supervised by Prof. Cecilia Garlanda studying the role of the negative regulator of inflammation IL-1R8/TIR8 in lymphoma and breast cancer development. Then, he got in 2018 the Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine and Medical Biotechnologies at the University of Milan attending the Laboratory of Leukocytes Biology at Humanitas Clinical and Research Center (Italy) under the supervision of Prof. Raffaella Bonecchi and Prof. Massimo Locati. As PhD student, Dr. Massara contributes to characterize the role of the atypical chemokine receptor ACKR2/D6 in lung metastasis. Dr. Massara is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Tumor Microenvironment Lab leaded by Prof. Johanna Joyce at University of Lausanne (Switzerland). His scientific activity is focused on fundamental mechanisms of leukocyte recruitment, activation and communication in brain metastasis.
Dr. Massara will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!