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​​​Early Career Scientist Award


Overview
The most effective way to stop the global TB epidemic is to prevent the spread of M. tuberculosis. That, however, is increasingly difficult with the rise of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). Currently there is only one vaccine against tuberculosis available worldwide: Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). This vaccine, used since 1921, can protect children from severe forms of tuberculosis. However, BCG has little to no efficacy in preventing pulmonary TB in (young) adults, the most common and most infectious form of tuberculosis.

Program
Today’s early career scientists are essential to ensure that the field remains innovative, scientifically robust and infuse new ways of approaches to tackle the scientific challenges in order to develop a TB vaccine. The CTVD has implemented a process to recognize the efforts of early career scientists who have made significant contributions to research in TB host-pathogen biology, immunology, and vaccinology.

Nomination Procedure
All nominations must be submitted electronically via the link below. Nominations will not be accepted by email or by post.

Each quarter, the CTVD will recognize 1 early career investigator who is selected based on the following criteria:

· Graduate student, Post-Doc, Research Fellow, or Assistant Professor nominated by an investigator from a CTVD Member Institution
· Nominees will be judged according to their contributions as demonstrated by the creativity, technical accomplishments, and impact of their research
· Willing to present his or her research findings at a webinar or CTVD-affiliated meeting and have the presentation recorded for CTVD members to view on-demand

The Early Career Scientist award carries with it a travel grant to attend a TB-related conference​.  This award will cover expenses related to this travel (air flight, lodging, and meals).

Nominations will be announced on the CTVD newsletter and will be reviewed by CTVD program management team.​

Early Career Scientist Award​ - November 2016

Cecilia Lindestam Arlehamn, Ph.D.
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Expertise: T cells, Tuberculosis, T cell epitopes, Human Immunology

Cecilia obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 2009. She then joined Dr. Sette’s group at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology where she has focused on understanding the role of T cells in the context of tuberculosis infection and vaccination. Specifically, Cecilia has dedicated her research to the identification of T cell epitopes and characterization of T cell subsets in promotion of the immune response to tuberculosis. She has identified several previously unknown epitopes and antigens derived from TB, which are recognized in populations with diverse ethnic background and TB exposure. Currently Cecilia focuses on differential epitope recognition and in-depth T cell subset characterization in diverse TB disease states and exposures.

Early Career Scientist Award​ - July 2016

Uma Shankar Gautam, Ph.D.
Tulane National Primate Research Centre
Expertise: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, hypoxia, DosR, macrophages

After finishing his Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Allahabad, India and a PhD in Life Sciences from Devi Ahalya University, India in 2007, Dr Uma Shankar studied the molecular mechanisms behind DosR signaling in M. tuberculosis in response to hypoxia at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. In 2011, he joined the laboratory of Professor Deepak Kaushal at the Tulane National Primate Research Centre and began studying the infection phenotype of various stress response mutants in in-vitro as well as in-vivo models. Uma has contributed to the understanding of of non-coding RNAs (small RNAs) that are expressed in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) upon exposure to diamide and hypoxia and their role in TB disease.

Early Career Scientist Award​ - April 2016

Simone Joosten, Ph.D.
Leiden University Medical Center
Expertise: Human Immunology, Tuberculosis, Diabetes

After graduating in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University in 1999, Simone studied the immunological involvement in chronic renal transplant rejection in the department of Nephrology and obtained her PhD at Leiden University in 2004. She obtained certification in Immunology and in Experimental Pathobiology from the SMBWO. Following her PhD, she started working in the Department of Infectious Diseases and focused on mycobacterial infections. Simone also worked at the University of Cape Town, South Africa to work on immune responses following BCG vaccination in infants. Her current work focusses on TB biomarkers, detailed characterization of novel human T-cell subsets and more recently macrophage biology and metabolism.

Early Career Scientist Award​ - January 2016​

Nacho Aguilo, Ph.D.
University of Zaragoza
Expertise: Microbiology, Immunology, TB

Over the years, Dr Nacho Aguilo has made significant contributions to research in TB host-pathogen biology, immunology, and vaccinology. His main research activities are related in the host pathogen in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, studying the mechanisms of virulence of M. tuberculosis and pulmonary vaccination. Dr Aguilo has been working in the study of apoptosis induction as a key mechanism of virulence of M. tuberculosis, mediated by ESAT-6. Dr Aguilo has contributed to the characterization of MTBVAC vaccine candidate and demonstrated the safety and efficacy of MTBVAC in a mice neonatal model. ​​​​