The Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate & Post Graduate Awards
Description: The Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Awards, generously sponsored by PBL Assay Science, are targeted to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who have begun to make an impact in interferon and cytokine research. The Awards are designed to fill the gap among the awards currently offered by the ICIS to more senior investigators. Candidates must be actively working in interferon/cytokine research but need not be ICIS members. This is an annual award, and a recipient may receive an award only once. However, an individual who receives the Graduate Award remains eligible for the Post-Graduate Award. In years where a suitable candidate is not identified, an award will not be bestowed.
Award: $3,500 cash award, $1,500 travel grant, a $2,500 PBL Assay Science product credit for each awardee, and a complementary one-year ICIS membership. These awards are sponsored by PBL Assay Science. The Awardees will be invited for an Oral presentation during the Meeting.

Deadline to apply/nominate for the 2021 award has been extended to 1 June, 2021.

Each awardee will receive a check in the amount of $5000 payable to the awardee at the annual ICIS Awards Ceremony. Should an awardee not attend the annual ICIS meeting, a travel grant will not be awarded and that awardee will receive a check in the amount of $3500 following the ICIS meeting. Each awardee will also receive a $2500 product credit from PBL Assay Science good for one year from the date of the award. This is an annual award, and a recipient may receive an award only once. An individual who receives the Graduate Award, however, remains eligible for the Post-Graduate Award. One award will be given to a graduate student and one award to a post-doctoral fellow where candidates of suitable caliber are identified. In years where a suitable candidate is not identified, an award will not be bestowed. 

Application Process:

  • The application and/or letters of nomination are submitted via the ICIS website online nomination form above.
  • ICIS members may either apply themselves or nominate other eligible members for either the Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate or Post-Graduate Awards. An abbreviated CV (max. one page) and a recommendation letter from mentor, including confirmation of eligibility as well as a statement of research and accomplishments should be included in the submission. Additional supporting materials, such as posters and publications, are welcome. No proprietary or confidential information can be included in the application. It should be noted that the awardees will be judged based on the following criteria which should be included in the nomination letter:
    • outstanding publications in the field
    • contributions to the cytokine/chemokine/ interferon field either in basic, clinical or applied research
    • prospects for a future career in cytokine biology, either in academics, government or industry
  • Deadline for submissions ~ May 15 of the year of the award (extended to 1 June, 2021).
  • Applicants must also submit an Abstract for consideration at the meeting, which will determine which session their oral presentation will be scheduled into by the scientific organizing committee.

2020 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate & Post Graduate Award Winners

Generously sponsored by PBL Assay Science.

POST-GRADUATE AWARD WINNER

Autumn York, PhD
Hanna H. Gray Postdoctoral Fellow
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Laboratory of Richard Flavell
Department of Immunobiology
Yale University
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.

https://medicine.yale.edu/immuno/profile/autumn_york/

https://twitter.com/AutumnYork

Dr. York will give a virtual oral presentation at Cytokines 2020 Virtual Meeting in November!


GRADUATE AWARD WINNER

Jack Major
PhD Student (4th and final year), Francis Crick Institute.
Present Immunoregulation laboratory (student at Imperial College London)
Primary PhD supervisor: Dr Andreas Wack.

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!

2019 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Award Winners
2018 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Award Winners
2017 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Award Winners
2016 Graduate Awardee
2016 Postgraduate Awardee

PBL Banner
Bronze Sponsor of Cytokines 2021 Hybrid Meeting
2019 The Sidney & Joan Pestka Post-Graduate & Graduate Awardees. From left: Thomas Lavoie (PBL), Billur Akkaya, Anukriti Mathur, Kate Fitzgerald and Bryan Williams
The 2018 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate Award: (L) Erika Engelowski, Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf, Germany, Robert Pestka, PBL (R)
The 2018 Sidney & Joan Pestka Post-Graduate Award: (L) Christoph Schneider, University of California, USA. Robert Pestka, PBL (R)
(L), Charlotte Nejad, 2017 Pestka Graduate Award, Rob Pestka, PBL (R)
(L) E. Ashley Moseman, 2017 Pestka Post-Graduate Award, Rob Pestka, PBL (R)
Rhiannon Werder (C) accepting the 2016 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate Award from Thomas B. Lavoie at PBL Assay Science (L) and ICIS Awards Committee Co-chairs, Eleanor Fish and Jennifer Towne (to the right of Eleanor)
2016 Sidney & Joan Pestka Postgraduate Award: (C) Scott Read, Postdoctoral Fellow Storr Liver Centre University of Sydney Australia. Thomas B. Lavoie at PBL Assay Science (L) and Eleanor Fish (R)
2015 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate Award
2015 Sidney & Joan Pestka Post-Graduate Award
2014 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate Award
2014 Sidney & Joan Pestka Post-Graduate Award
2013 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate Award
2013 Sidney & Joan Pestka Post-Graduate Award
2011 Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Awards

THE 2010 INAUGURAL SIDNEY & JOAN PESTKA POST-GRADUATE AWARD:

Dr. Anette H. H. van Boxel-Dezaire

 

THE 2010 INAUGURAL THE SIDNEY & JOAN PESTKA GRADUATE AWARD:

Seth G Thacker

Seymour Milstein in Geneva, Joan Pestka in foreground
Seymour and Vivian Milstein, Sid Pestka
Seymour and Vivian Milstein, Sid and Joan Pestka, Robert Pestka, in Budapest in 1994