The 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Tobias M. Hohl, Assistant Professor, Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Assistant Professor, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington, Seattle. Sponsored by Merck U.S. Human Health, this award recognizes early career scientists for research excellence in microbiology and infectious diseases.
Dr. Hohl is honored for his research on the interaction of Aspergillus fumigatus and the pulmonary innate immune system. His work has improved our understanding of echinocandid mechanisms of action.
While a Research Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Hohl studied chemokine induction and signaling pathways in macrophages exposed to A. fumigatus. He learned that Dectin-1, a receptor expressed on dendritic cells and macrophages, binds β-glucans on the surface of germinating A. fumigatus conidia. Dr. Hohl showed that β-glucans are expressed in state-specific fashion on geminating A. fumigatus, thereby, restricting the inflammatory response to germinating but not dormant fungal spores. His work demonstrated for the first time how the mammalian immune system recognizes Aspergillus infections.
Dr. Hohl earned his M.D.- Ph.D. from the tri-institutional program of Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Rockefeller University, New York.
The ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented during ASM's 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 12-15, 2009 in San Francisco, CA. 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, economic, and environmental well-being.