“Thank you. By supporting our faculty, you provided them opportunities to improve health locally and worldwide. We are forever grateful for the legacy you have created at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.” – Dean Ellen MacKenzie, PhD ’79, MSc ’75
Awarded to full-time JHSPH professorial or scientist faculty members, at any rank, who conduct bench science research in the laboratory-based departments (i.e., MBM, MMI & EHS). The prize will be awarded for a discovery that is either currently in press or has been published within the last five years. The relevant work must have been performed while at JHSPH Technology; transfer activities (e.g., patents) conducted within the same timeframe are also eligible. The recipient will be determined by a committee of peers and based on the discovery’s significance, innovation, and potential for public health impact.
2014 Recipient: Jiou Wang
Jiou Wang, MD is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His long-standing interest is to uncover the basic molecular and cellular processes underlying age-related human neurodegenerative diseases. He is a pioneer in the studies of protein and RNA homeostasis as well as mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Wang’s team recently discovered novel pathways of protein quality control and stress responses, which could be potentially harnessed to defend against neurodegeneration in the efforts of developing effective strategies to face the growing public health challenge.
2015 Recipient: Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey, PhD is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is a biochemist whose research seeks to understand the molecular basis of CRISPR. CRISPR has emerged as a powerful and versatile molecular tool for precise genome editing applications in basic research, biotechnology, and medicine. Bailey is currently applying state-of-the-art single-molecule techniques to further our understanding of CRISPR. In particular, he is using cryo-electron microscopy, a technique that allows the visualization of individual molecules, to probe how CRISPR targets specific DNA sequences. Results from these studies will not only further our basic understanding of biology but hopefully pave the way for improved CRISPR tools.
2016 Recipient: Andy Pekosz
Andrew Pekosz, PhD is a tenured professor in the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. His research interests have focused on influenza and other respiratory viruses and, in particular, the ability of these viruses to infect and replicate in the upper respiratory tract. His laboratory uses primary, differentiated human nasal epithelial cell cultures to identify novel mutations that improve the ability of viruses to replicate in this important part of the respiratory tract. This work has also led to the realization that the host response to infection can change drastically when infection occurs at the cooler temperatures of the upper respiratory tract when compared to the lower respiratory tract. He is Co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance, Director of the Center for Emerging Viruses and Infectious Diseases, and the current President of the American Society for Virology.
2017 Recipient: Daniela Drummond-Barbosa
Daniela Drummond-Barbosa, PhD is a tenured professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Drummond-Barbosa received her PhD from Yale University and pursued her postdoctoral training at the Carnegie Institution for Science, where she pioneered using Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study how diet regulates adult tissue stem cells. Her laboratory at Vanderbilt University (2002-2009) and at the Bloomberg School (2009-present) identified several mechanisms involving insulin-like peptides, the steroid hormone ecdysone, the nutrient sensor Target of Rapamycin (TOR), and other diet-regulated pathways that modulate germline stem cells (GSCs) and their differentiating progeny. More recently, Drummond-Barbosa’s group discovered that adipocyte-specific disruption of amino acid transport, TOR or insulin signaling causes distinct GSC lineage phenotypes and that diet controls multiple metabolic pathways within adipocytes that can influence specific processes in the GSC lineage. Her team is also actively investigating how obesity and other forms of chronic stress affect stem cell lineages. Her group’s research points to extensive communication between adipocytes and the ovary, and underscores the complexity of the physiological network that modulates stem cell behavior according to dietary constraints, obesity, and other stresses. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves as a regular study section member for the National Institutes of Health.
2018 Recipient: George Dimopoulos
George Dimopoulos, PhD is a tenured professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research has advanced with the creation of new genetically-modified Anopheles and Aedes mosquito strains that are resistant to the malaria parasite Plasmodium ad dengue and Zika viruses, respectively. His group is now assessing the fitness of these mosquitoes along with testing their resistance to multiple pathogen strains. The long-term goal is to create mosquitoes that won’t transmit these human pathogens as part of an integrated vector-borne disease control strategy.