Le Lézard
Classified in: Health, Science and technology, Covid-19 virus
Subject: AWD

SIUE's Susanne DiSalvo Awarded Prestigious NSF CAREER Grant

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill., May 14, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Susanne DiSalvo, PhD, assistant professor in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biological Sciences, has received the highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award totaling $463,557.

The award supports her research entitled, "Population and evolutionary dynamics of bacteriophage-symbiont-host interactions: Development of a multi-layered model microbiome," the findings of which will elucidate virus-host evolution and may inform alternative strategies for treating bacterial infections.

"I feel incredibly fortunate," said DiSalvo. "This grant will fund a long-term project in my lab integrating bacteriophages (viruses of bacteria) into my research program which focuses on bacterial infections in an amoeba host system. Bacteriophages are highly ubiquitous in the environment and play a powerful role on bacterial prevalence and evolution. With the rise of antibiotic resistance, interest in using phages to treat bacterial infections has magnified, but their long-term efficacy and their potential to drive the evolution of their bacterial targets within a treated individual is not well understood. This project seeks to illuminate the dynamic outcomes of phage treatment in a tractable model system."

"The CAREER grant is the NSF's most prestigious award a faculty member can receive in their early career," said Jerry Weinberg, PhD, associate provost for research and dean of the Graduate School. "This award is recognition of Dr. DiSalvo's achievements, as well as NSF's investment in her potential for advancing knowledge and education in her area of research."

DiSalvo underscores the importance of publicly investing in science, the value of which has become obvious amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The fact that there are effective vaccines against Sars-Cov-2 within a year of its emergence is a product of decades of research in both basic and translational science," she explained. "This would not have been possible without federally funded research and infrastructure. The current emphasis on supporting science makes me optimistic about our future, specifically for training future scientists who can go on to solve future challenges."

Funding from the NSF CAREER Award will allow DiSalvo to train several students in hands-on inquiry-based research.

"I will be able to support graduate and undergraduate students in my research lab with these funds and integrate key research elements into my teaching courses ? specifically microbiology and virology ? allowing a large number of students to learn valuable scientific skills while directly contributing to novel discoveries," DiSalvo said.

"A typical student project entails a mix of collaborative and independent work planning and conducting the experimental strategy and analyzing and interpreting results," she added. "Students participate in a variety of microbial, molecular and computational work, as well as attend weekly lab meetings to discuss science literature, research progress, career goals and many other topics beyond research. There is a lot of camaraderie in the lab, and the students not only work hard on their own projects, but also readily help one another and make the lab a fun and friendly place to be."

DiSalvo also earned the Graduate School's 2020-21 Vaughnie Lindsay New Investigator Award. According to DiSalvo, the award was instrumental for progressing her project on the mechanisms underlying Paraburkholderia infections.

"Through this work, I was able to identify amoeba host genes that play an important role in mediating the infection process, and in specific, defending the host from high levels of infection," she explained. "This discovery allows me to craft a hypothesis-driven strategy to uncover the mechanisms whereby host factors facilitate or inhibit bacterial infection efficacy."
She plans to utilize these findings to develop a proposal for a future external grant submission.

By preparing the next generation of leaders in a knowledge-based economy, SIUE's Graduate School fulfills the region's demand for highly trained professionals. Graduate school offerings include arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, nursing, and interdisciplinary opportunities. SIUE professors provide students with a unique integration of theoretical education and hands-on research experiences. Students can obtain graduate certificates or pursue master's degrees, and be part of a supportive learning and rich intellectual environment that is tailored to the needs of adult learners. The Graduate School raises the visibility of research and creative activity at SIUE, which ranks highest among its Illinois Board of Higher Education peers in total research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Doctoral programs are available in nursing practice and educational leadership. Cooperative PhD programs in history, environmental resources and policy, engineering science, and computer science are offered with SIU Carbondale.

Media Contact

Megan Wieser, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 618-650-3653, mwieser@siue.edu


SOURCE Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

These press releases may also interest you

at 20:00
Innovent Biologics, Inc. ("Innovent") (HKEX: 01801), a world-class biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and commercializes high quality medicines for the treatment of cancer, metabolic, autoimmune and other major diseases, today...

at 19:35
Prestige BioPharma Limited (PBP) specializing in the development of antibody therapeutics, announced that French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (L'Agence nationale de sécurité du medicament, ANSM) has approved a Phase...

at 18:01
COVID-19 patients suffer from cognitive and behavioural problems two months after being discharged from hospital, a new study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology has found[1]. Issues with memory, spatial awareness...

at 17:37
The Government of Canada will announce updates to the border measures implemented to protect the health of Canadians due COVID-19. Ministers will hold a news conference to announce updates to border measures. Ministers will be available to answer...

at 12:00
I would like to dedicate today's Sunday Edition to a special group who have shown great strength and courage during a very challenging period - the kids and teens across Canada, and to the adults who support them. I know that things have not been...

at 11:00
The most recent data on the evolution of COVID-19, in the last 24 hours, in Québec show: 103 new cases, bringing the total number of people infected to 373,921; 361,352 people have recovered; 2 new deaths, for a total of 11,191 deaths: 0 deaths in...

News published on 14 may 2021 at 03:00 and distributed by: