HHMI recognizes immunology scientist for bold research

The Medical School’s David Masopust, Ph.D., has been named to the inaugural class of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholars, in recognition of his dedication to creative and innovative solutions in science.

An associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a Masonic Cancer Center member, Masopust is focused on immunosurveillance research and how resident memory T cells control infections and cancer. 

The Faculty Scholars program — led by the HHMI, Simons Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — targets early-career researchers and provides flexible funding resources to allow them to take chances and pursue creative research ideas.

Eighty-four scholars were selected for the honor out of more than 1,400 applicants.

“This recognition of Dave’s work puts him in a class with some of the most elite investigators in the nation,” says Tucker LeBien, Ph.D., vice dean for research in the Medical School and associate vice president for research in the U’s Academic Health Center. “His fundamental research on immune cell function has changed the field in incredible ways, and this program will only provide more opportunity for discovery.”

Masopust’s recent work includes a new model of mice called “dirty” mice, which are designed to mimic the adult human immune system in the unhygienic real world, as well as investigations into how the immune system patrols the body for detection of infected and cancerous cells. 

Published on March 28, 2017

Photo caption: David Masopust, Ph.D., studies the value of using “dirty” mice in research. (Photo: Brian Carnell)