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Penn Vet names inaugural infectious and zoonotic disease fellowship recipients

Article

The fellowship displays the institute’s dedication to supporting researchers and future leaders in the biomedical field.

The Institute for Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) has granted its inaugural Martin and Pamela Winter Infectious Disease Fellowships of $35,000 each to 2, early-career biomedical scientists.

According to a university release, the fellowships reflect the institute’s long-term goal of supporting researchers and aspiring leaders in the biomedical industry to understand the obstacles regarding zoonotic infectious diseases of wildlife and humans.

The Martin and Pamela Winter Infectious Disease Fellows are:

  • Recipient: Khabadire Tlotleng
    • Institution: Botswana University of Agriculture & Natural Resources
    • Project: Identification of Canine parvovirus variants
    • Mentor: Eman Anis, DVM, MVSc, PhD, ACVM; assistant professor of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; section head, Molecular Diagnostics at the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System (PADLS) at New Bolton Center.
  • Recipient: Matthew Martinez
    • Institution: University of Pennsylvania
    • Project: Defining invasion strategies of malaria parasites
      Mentor: Yi-Wei Chang, PhD; assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

“We are pleased to select Khabadire and Matthew as our inaugural Martin and Pamela Winter Infectious Disease Fellows,” said De’Broski R. Herbert, PhD, presidential associate professor, associate professor of Pathobiology, and associate director of global affairs and education at Penn Vet’s Institute for Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases.

“The unique perspectives and abilities of these trainees will be highly valuable in Penn Vet’s mission to confront emerging and re-emerging zoonotic and vector-borne diseases,” he continued.

The basic laboratories partaking in this fellowship program are focused on infectious disease investigations of enteric pathogens, vector biology, vaccine development, tropical medicine, public health, microbiome and functional genomics, immunology, and ecology, according to the release.

Along with laboratory or field-based research, the fellowship incorporates coursework plus programming that spotlights Penn Vet’s infectious disease research and expertise, and assurance to the career development of early-career scientists.

“The public’s awareness of infectious diseases has never been higher; the COVID pandemic has made it clear that there is an imperative to expand our focus and approach to infectious diseases.” said Christopher Hunter, PhD, Mindy Halikman Heyer Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology, and Director of Penn Vet’s Institute for Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases.

“These fellowships represent our longer-term commitment to prepare scientists not only for their future careers, but to support vital public health initiatives related to infectious diseases,” he added.

Reference

Hackett MJ. The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine announces infectious and zoonotic disease fellowship recipients. News release. University of Pennsylvania. February 23, 2022. Accessed February 23, 2022. https://www.vet.upenn.edu/about/news-room/news-stories/news-story-detail/penn-vet-announces-infectious-and-zoonotic-disease-fellowship-recipients

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