Head Receives Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

December 7, 2012

Durham, NC — Brian Head, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Alejandro Aballay, PhD, has received a two-year Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. This highly competitive fellowship will provide stipend support for Head while working on his project entitled, “Role of CED-1 in the Systemic Response to Pathogen Infection in C. elegans.” The project will investigate the involvement of the phagocyte receptor CED-1 as a molecular relay between the nervous system and the immune system during an infection in the worm, C. elegans.

Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, remarked, “It is a strong endorsement by the NIH to receive one of these prestigious fellowships. Our congratulations go out to Brian for achieving this mark of distinction as he begins his tenure as an NRSA fellow.”

Dr. Ruth L. Kirschstein, for whom the award was named, achieved significant scientific accomplishments in polio vaccine development, became the first woman director of an NIH Institute, championed research training, and was a strong advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented individuals in the scientific workforce.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards the NRSA as a means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training to ensure a diverse and highly trained workforce to assume leadership roles in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research fields.

Biran Head_Aballay_Lab_December 2012 News