Congratulations to principal investigator Judy Smith, MD, PhD, associate professor, Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, who recently received a one-year grant from Merck in the amount of $203,983. Her proposal “Epithelial Determinants of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Immune Responses” was selected as part of Merck’s Investigator Initiated Study program, which aims to support research designed and implemented by external investigators. Her study will expand on her lab’s previous research to analyze how certain epithelial cellular responses may be predictors of the outcome and severity of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This understanding will also help lead to better insight regarding subsets of “low risk” children who might benefit from immunization. RSV is a ubiquitous viral infection that leads to an estimated 33 million lower respiratory infections and 60,000 deaths a year around the globe.