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Microbiology in the News

Parker Named 2020 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences

Parker Named 2020 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences


Benjamin Parker, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, is a member of the 2020 Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. Parker was selected from among 191 nominations submitted by leading US academic and research institutions to receive four years of funding to invest in exploratory research.

The 2020 Pew Scholars are undertaking groundbreaking research projects aimed at advancing human health, from development and aging to better detection, prevention, and defense against cancer.

Parker’s research uses an insect (the pea aphid) and the beneficial and harmful microbes that inhabit it as a model system to study host-microbe interactions, and his lab uses genomic, molecular, and experimental techniques.

“This work will contribute to a broader understanding of how immune systems evolve and how natural selection shapes relationships between animals and beneficial microbes,” said Parker. “It will inform more applied research exploring the effects of microbial communities on human health and disease.”

The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.

-By Kelly Alley

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