2018 Independent Awardees


John D. Lueck

University of Rochester, New York, USA

Research background

Dr Lueck completed his PhD in physiology investigating the pathomechanisms of myotonia in myotonic dystrophy at the University of Rochester, New York, USA.  He then went on to join the University of Iowa, USA as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate to continue his training in membrane biophysics, molecular genetics and protein biochemistry before returning to the University of Rochester as an assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology.  Dr Lueck’s research focuses on molecular genetics and the development of therapeutic strategies for the use of engineered transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to effectively suppress nonsense mutations that result in CF. 


2018 Mentored Awardees


Jonathan F. Fay

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), North Carolina, USA

Mentor: John Riordan

Research Background

Dr Fay received his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oregon Health & Science University, USA, which focused on pharmacology, membrane protein biochemistry, and fluorescence spectroscopy. During his PhD under the supervision of Dr David Farrens, he utilized classical pharmacological approaches and membrane protein biochemistry, in addition to innovative fluorescence assays, to investigate the dynamics and function of the CB1 receptor. Dr Fay has since transitioned into the field of single particle electron microscopy and continues this work as a postdoctoral research scientist within the laboratory of Professor John Riordan at UNC. The primary research focus of the laboratory is the structure, function, and biosynthetic processing of membrane proteins, with a specific focus on exploring the dynamics and mechanisms that govern CFTR gating to identify potential new therapeutic targets.


Jenny L. Kerschner

Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA

Mentor: Ann Harris

Research background

Dr Kerschner received her PhD in human molecular genetics from Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, under the supervision of Dr Harris. She undertook her first postdoctoral position at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, before re-joining the laboratory of Dr Harris at Case Western Reserve University. Dr Kerschner has a long-standing interest in mechanisms of transcription regulation, specifically the regulation of CFTR through investigation of developmental regulatory mechanisms in the airway, and identification and characterization of pathogenic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CFTR regulatory elements.


Kathryn Ramsey

University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Mentor: Philipp Latzin

Research background

Dr Ramsey completed her PhD in respiratory medicine at the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. During her postdoctoral research at the University of Western Australia, she gained experience in clinical respiratory function and lung imaging in infants and young children with CF through the Australian Respiratory Early Surveillance Team for Cystic Fibrosis (AREST CF) longitudinal surveillance program in Perth. She later pursued a research fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, to examine the role of mucus hyperconcentration in the development of early CF lung disease and investigate potential biomarkers. Under the supervision of Professor Latzin, Dr Ramsey currently manages the clinical surveillance of a nationwide birth cohort study of infants diagnosed with CF following newborn screening in Bern, Switzerland.


Anand Shah

TImperial College London/Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK

Mentor: Pradeep Singh and Stuart Elborn

Research background

During his medical training, Dr Shah developed an interest in fungal infections that complicate chronic lung disease, such as CF. He completed his MRC Clinical Research PhD in fungal immunobiology at Imperial College London and is an honorary clinical research fellow at Imperial College London and Consultant in CF at Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK. Utilizing an ‘omics’ approach alongside high-resolution single cell microscopy, his research identified macrophage necrosis of Aspergillus fumigatus as a critical early defence response. His current work using a human iPSC-derived macrophage model of pulmonary fungal infection aims to better understand host-pathogen interaction, fungal virulence, and further explore potential avenues for immunomodulation of host cell death pathways to improve clinical outcomes.

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