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.