2017 Awardees

Jennifer Bomberger

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh

Mentor: Jay Kolls

Research Background

Dr Bomberger received her PhD at the Michigan State University and postdoctoral training in host-pathogen interactions at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Her research program examines mechanisms for microbial pathogenesis and the interaction between bacterial and viral pathogens in the lung, particularly in the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases like CF. The overarching goal of Dr Bomberger's lab is to elucidate molecular mechanisms for the establishment of bacterial biofilms in the CF airway and the inappropriate host immune response to infection. They aim to identify new targets that could delay acquisition and chronic bacterial colonization, or work in conjunction with existing therapies, to eradicate P. aeruginosa infections. Her research program includes basic sciences studies at the bench examining P. aeruginosa pathogenesis and viral-bacterial interactions in the respiratory tract, as well as translational studies using state of the art genomics approaches to study microbial communities in CF patients and antimicrobial development.

Rebecca M. Davidson

National Jewish Health, Denver

Mentor: Jerry Nick

Research background

Dr Davison has a diverse scientific background in molecular biology, microbiology, and genomics. Since joining NJH she has been studying disease-causing bacterial organisms including nontuberculous mycobacteria and has recently expanded into microbiome research. Her overarching research interests include applying molecular and computational approaches to investigate the epidemiology of pathogen populations, pathogen genome evolution, host-microbe interactions, and the microbial ecology of infectious respiratory diseases. As a computational biologist, she aims to fill an important niche in CF research by facilitating multi-disciplinary projects incorporating advanced sequencing technologies and electronic health.

Sanja Stanojevic

The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Mentor: Felix Ratjen

Research background

Dr Stanojevic is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with a research focus on the epidemiology of respiratory diseases and the application of novel statistical methods to improve interpretation of objective measures of lung function. She collaborates closely with clinical pediatric respiratory researchers from around the world to improve how data are analyzed and interpreted in order to better understand how respiratory diseases develop in early childhood. Her expertise is in the analysis of lung function data. She received a PhD in applied statistics from University College London, which focused on characterizing the normal growth and development of the lungs in early childhood. The resulting growth charts are now widely cited around the world.

Amy Wong

The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Mentor: Janet Rossant

Research background

Dr Amy Wong joined the laboratory of Dr Janet Rossant (leading expert in mammalian stem cells) as a postdoctoral fellow and was one of the pioneers who developed a method to generate lung cells from human embryonic and pluripotent stem cells. Amy continues to lead the lung stem cell work in Dr Rossant's lab, as well as the management of the stem cell work for the Cystic Fibrosis Individualized Therapy (CFIT) program – a multi-investigator team aimed at becoming Canada’s resource for primary cells and iPS cells for CF research. Amy’s latest efforts are focused on generating 3D human lung organoids as a novel tool to study lung development, disease, and therapies. Amy’s work has awarded her many distinguished fellowships and accolades as well as high impact journal publications.

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