A 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Raymond W. Sarber Award is being presented to Pratik P. Shah, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson. This award recognizes students at the undergraduate and predoctoral levels for research excellence and potential. It is presented in honor of Raymond W. Sarber and his contributions to the growth and advancement of the ASM.
Mr. Shah's thesis research is the role of polyamines and polyamine biosynthesis and transport systems in the human pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae. His work has partially elucidated the role of these transport systems in S. pneumoniae pathogenesis. It has shown that polyamines are important for bacterial response to temperature shock, oxidative stress, choline limitation, and in vivo growth. His research reaffirms the importance of basic metabolic pathways in bacterial survival and virulence in various host-imposed microenvironments.
His postdoctoral training interests are to explain the contributions of genes and proteins of human bacterial pathogens involved in adaption of the host environment and the true virulence factors which are expressed in vivo. Mr. Shah would like to obtain a faculty position in an academic setting and focus on identifying candidate genes/proteins which represent novel therapeutic targets for rational drug design and potential vaccine antigens that would dramatically improve public health.
Mr. Shah received his B.S. and M.S., both with honors, from the University of Mumbai, India.
The Raymond W. Sarber Award will be presented during the 109th General Meeting of the ASM, May 17-21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.