One of 22 early-career researchers named a Pew Scholar by the Pew Charitable Trusts, she will receive a four-year grant to explore the conditions that influence the evolution of different strains of norovirus. As a postdoctoral fellow, Baldridge found that the immune molecule interferon-lambda curtails norovirus infection in mice, while normal gut bacteria sustain it. Her lab plans to manipulate the interferon-lambda signaling pathway and the composition of the microbiota in norovirus-infected mice and determine how such modifications affect viral elimination, the evolution of viral variants, and the infectiousness of newly evolved viral strains.
This year’s Pew Scholars were selected from 184 nominations. The program provides funding to young, promising investigators working to advance human health.