Dr. Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque is the 2002 winner of the American Herpes Foundation Gertrude B. Elion Research Award for distinguished accomplishment or achievement in herpes research. Winners were announced at the Annual Trudy Elion Fellowship Dinner for Herpesvirus Research held in San Diego in September. The award will be presented at the Infectious Disease Society of America meeting in Chicago on October 24.
The research awards program recognizes and encourages young investigators who make an important contribution to improving the understanding of herpesvirus infection. With its goal to disseminate new information on herpesvirus infections to promote improvements in its management, the AHF provides a $10,000 cash prize, half of which will go to Webster-Cyriaque and the remainder designated for the sponsoring institution.
Webster-Cyriaque won the award for her research in the area of viral oral pathogenesis in immune competence and immunosuppression. Understanding the mechanisms of opportunistic viral molecular pathogenesis in individuals with compromised immune systems has taken on renewed importance as the burden of HIV disease expands globally. The human herpesviruses manipulate host immune recognition and response to allow for continuous infection and affect specific cellular pathways to induce cell growth or death resulting in AIDS-defining lesions such as Kaposi’s sarcoma. Eight known human herpesviruses as well as multiple human papillomaviruses cause persistent infections of the oral cavity during immunosuppression. Webster-Cyriaque’s work focuses on understanding determinants of oral infection and developing oral systems for the study and local treatment of these infections.
Webster-Cyriaque received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1998, her DDS in Dentistry from State University of New York in 1992, and her General Practice Residency Certificate from the UNC School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill in 1998. She is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Dental Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Dr. Jeffrey Frelinger, Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, nominated her for this special award.
For information: American Herpes Foundation http://www.herpes-foundation.org/
Contact Dr. Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque at 919-843-6198 or by e-mail at Jennifer_Cyriaque@dentistry.unc.edu.