Last year Viruses received over 50 nominations for the 2015 Young Investigator Prize in Virology.
Dr. Jesse Bloom, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, is the recipient of the 2015 Viruses Young Investigator Award. Dr. Bloom received his Ph.D. with Dr. Frances Arnold and did postdoctoral training with Dr. David Baltimore, both at Caltech. Since 2011, he has been an Assistant Member in the Division of Basic Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Bloom’s research combines experimental and computational approaches to study influenza virus, with a focus on developing a better understanding of the biophysical and immunological constraints and selection pressures that shape influenza virus evolution. A major strength of his research is to seamlessly integrate molecular virology, next-generation sequencing, and computational biology to ask critical questions about influenza virus evolution.
Because of the outstanding quality of the nominations received for this award, The panel also decided to announce a runner-up: Dr. Alexander Ploss from Princeton University. Dr. Ploss conducted his Ph.D. research at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in the lab of Dr. Eric Palmer and did postdoctoral research with Dr. Charlie Rice at the Rockefeller University. In 2009, he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Rockefeller University and in 2013 he became an Assistant Professor at Princeton University. Dr. Ploss’s research is focused on addressing fundamental questions about hepatitis B and C virus infection using humanized mouse model systems.
Winner: Dr. Jesse Bloom Runner up: Dr. Alexander Ploss
In addition to the Young Investigator Award, Viruses sponsored a competition for travel awards for two graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to attend meetings of their choice. The 2015 travel award winners are Dr. Kirsty Short, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Thijs Kuiken, Department of Viroscience, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Dr. Redmond Smyth, a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Roland Marquet, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France.
This is also the occasion to mention that Dr. Bloom receives the honor of being invited to present his outstanding work at the ”Viruses 2016 – At the forefront of Virus-Host Interaction” international conference organized by MDPI which will be held in Basel from 26th to 28th of January 2016!