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Steed receives prestigious medical scientists award

Burroughs Wellcome Fund to support pediatrician’s research in microbiome

July 11, 2019

Ashley Steed, MD, PhD, an instructor of pediatrics in the Division of Critical Care Medicine within the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received a 2019 Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to biomedical science through research and education.

As part of the award, Steed will receive a five-year grant totaling $700,000 to further her research examining the relationships between gut microbes and the host’s immune responses during viral infections such as influenza. For instance, research by Steed and her colleagues found that a particular gut microbe can offer protection from disease during influenza infection in mice, likely by breaking down naturally occurring compounds found in food and drinks such as blueberries, black tea, garlic and spinach.

Steed, who treats patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, is one of 13 researchers selected for this award from a nationwide pool of 105 applicants.