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Amanda L. Lewis, PhD

Amanda L. Lewis, PhD, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and of obstetrics and gynecology, is honored for her groundbreaking contributions in explaining the roles of complex carbohydrates in the development of urogenital tract infection in women.

Lewis applies her expertise in microbiology and glycobiology to study the development of infections of the female urogenital tract, particularly bacterial vaginosis, a chronic, recurrent infection that increases risks for other infections, as well as life-threatening complications during pregnancy. After five years on the faculty, she has developed a unique concept: that a major driver of vaginal health is the intricate relationship between the microbes in this environment and the complex carbohydrates at the interface of the host-microbe relationship. She has made major progress in investigating this new field she has spearheaded at the interfaces of glycobiology, microbiology and women’s health.

Lewis has established strong collaborations with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to study the influence of host-microbe interactions on pregnancy and pre-term birth. The importance of her work, described in 13 published papers since joining the Washington University faculty, has been recognized by the Office of Research on Women’s Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and by awards from the March of Dimes Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the International Glycoconjugate Organization. As a member of the Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research (cWIDR), Lewis’ career path serves as a model for the center’s mission of fostering collaborative, multidisciplinary translational science.

Lewis received her bachelor’s degree from the California State Polytechnic University in 2001 and her doctoral degree in 2006 from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She completed postdoctoral training at UCSD and joined the Washington University faculty in 2009.

Published: 02/20/2015