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American Society for Clinical Investigation honors physician-scientists

Early-career scientists awarded for achievements in research

February 14, 2024

Three early-career scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been honored with the Young Physician-Scientist Award by the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). They are Tarin M. Bigley, MD, PhDJeffrey W. Brown MD, PhD; and Drew J. Schwartz, MD, PhD.

The honor recognizes 52 physician-scientists nationwide who are early in their careers and have had notable achievements in their research. The annual award will be presented in April in Chicago at the joint annual meeting of ASCI, the Association of American Physicians and the American Physician Scientists Association.

Bigley, an assistant professor of pediatrics, of molecular microbiology and of pathology & immunology, studies how viruses disrupt the immune system and contribute to autoimmune disease. A pediatric rheumatologist, he has an interest in the role of herpes viruses in neuroinflammatory disease, an area of research he has been studying since his fellowship training in the laboratory of Wayne M. Yokoyama, MD, the Sam J. Levin and Audrey Loew Levin Professor of Arthritis Research.

Brown, an assistant professor of medicine and a gastroenterologist, focuses on how normal cells become cancer cells. While training in the laboratory of Jason C. Mills, MD, PhD, he discovered a process that normal cells use to transform into cancer cells. The goal of his laboratory is to better understand the steps involved in that process.

Schwartz, an assistant professor of pediatrics and an infectious diseases physician, is interested in understanding, in infants with bacterial infections, how microbes interact with the body before sepsis develops, a topic he explored during his time in the laboratory of Gautam Dantas, PhD. Preterm infants born before 37 weeks of gestation are most susceptible to bacterial infections, the leading cause of death in this population. His goal is to consider gut microbiome composition in assessing sepsis risk in pediatric patients and to offer a personalized treatment approach that focuses on responsible antibiotic use.

For more information on the awards, see here.