J. Scott Fites, PhD awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship from American Heart Association

J. Scott Fites, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Bruce Klein, MD, was recently awarded a Midwest Affiliate Summer 2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA). This 2-year grant, in the amount of $102,550, is for his project entitled, “Harnessing a long-lived neutrophil to fight systemic fungal infections.” This neutrophil population – referred to as a neutrophil-dendritic cell (PMN-DC) – has features of both neutrophils and DCs. This project will investigate the emergence and activities of PMN-DCs during Aspergillus and Candida infections in murine models; delineate the professional phagocyte and antigen-presenting functions of PMN-DCs important in antifungal immunity; and elucidate the inflammatory signals that drive PMN-DC development in vivo, which is a critical gap in knowledge with therapeutic implications. The long-term impact of this research will be in developing PMN-DC targeted immunotherapies to treat lethal Aspergillus and Candida infections. Congratulations, Scott!