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2014 Mid-Atlantic Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics Conference
Philadelphia, May 30, 2014
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APRIL 2, 2014 - Strain-specific Lyme Disease Immunity Lasts for Years, Penn Research Finds

(Excerpted from Penn News.)

Deer TickLyme disease, if not treated promptly with antibiotics, can become a lingering problem for those infected. But a new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has some brighter news: Once infected with a particular strain of the disease-causing bacteria, humans appear to develop immunity against that strain that can last six to nine years.

The finding doesn’t give people who have already had the disease license to wander outside DEET-less, however. At least 16 different strains of the Lyme disease bacterium have been shown to infect humans in the United States, so being bit by a tick carrying a different strain of the disease is entirely possible. But the discovery does shed light on how the immune system recognizes and builds a defense against the pathogen and could inform future attempts to design a vaccine that would protect against multiple strains of the disease.

The study, published in the April issue of Infection and Immunity, was led by Dustin Brisson (CAMB, GCB) and Camilo E. Khatchikian, a postdoctoral associate in Brisson’s lab. They collaborated with Robert B. Nadelman, John Nowakowski, Ira Schwartz and Gary P. Wormser of New York Medical College.

Click here for the full release.


MARCH 3, 2014 - CONGRATULATIONS to BGS graduate Shaun O'Brien (IGG-2013) who was recently selected as a 2014-2015 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Public Policy Fellow!

Now entering its forth year, the AAI Public Policy Fellowship Program (PPFP) is designed to provide opportunities for young scientists to become involved in policy initiatives at AAI.

Learn more about PPFP here:


JANUARY 24, 2014 - Sean Spencer Examines an Immune Response to Malnutrition

Immunology graduate Sean Spencer discusses the adaptation of innate lymphoid cells to a micronutrient deficiency in the January 24, 2014 issue of Science. The article emerged from his thesis, "Regulation of Intestinal Innate Immunity by Dietary Vitamin A" which he completed with Dr. Yasmine Belkaid. Sean is currently finishing his dual MD/PhD and will graduate in 2015.

Click here for News Archive.


Award Announcements

BGS is delighted to announce that this year’s co-recipients of the Jane M. Glick Graduate Student Teaching Award are Hongzhe Lee, Professor of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, and James (Jim) Wilson, Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. Drs. Lee and Wilson have both provided long-standing, exemplary service to the BGS/PSOM/Penn core mission of educating, mentoring and training the next generation of biomedical scientists. They each received considerable praise and appreciation from their colleagues and students for their teaching and mentoring acumen, as well as for their fundamental roles in their respective graduate groups, across many years. Their dedication to these efforts exemplifies the type of scientist/educator that Jane Glick represented.

Hongzhe and Jim will be presented with this award during the BGS Graduation Ceremony, scheduled for May 19, 2014 in the BRB Auditorium. Please join us in congratulating them on receiving this award!





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