$150K Prizes for Young Investigators

Michelson Prizes

2018 Winners

The Michelson Medical Research Foundation together with the Human Vaccines Project are pleased to announce the Inaugural Michelson Prize Winners:

  • Patricia Therese Illing, PhD
    Monash University

    Spliced peptides: Novel candidates for effective influenza immunity?
  • Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD
    Stanford University School of Medicine

    Epigenomic mechanisms of vaccine-induced immunity
  • Laura Mackay, PhD
    The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

    Targeting tissue-resident immune cells for enhanced immune protection

About the Prizes

The Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research are $150,000 awards that support young investigators applying disruptive research concepts to significantly advance the development of future vaccines and immunotherapies.

Winners were selected via a rigorous, global competition and will receive their awards at the 1st annual conference on the ‘The Future of Vaccine Development’ at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience at the University of Southern California in June.

Are you the next Michelson Prize Winner?

Information about the 2019 Michelson Prize Application Process will be made available in the fall of 2018. If you are a researcher under the age of 35 with an innovative research concept, we encourage you to apply.

If you would like to receive an announcement about the launch of the 2019 Michelson Prizes, please submit your email here:

About the Donors

Dr. Gary K. Michelson is a Board Certified Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon, with more than 900 issued patents worldwide, that have revolutionized the practice of spinal surgery, making such procedures less invasive, less traumatic, safer, faster, and more effective. Alya Michelson is an accomplished journalist, who has written in, and been published in four different languages.

Together they support a broad array of philanthropic endeavors, and operate three foundations that they founded and fund; including a medical research foundation, an education foundation, and an animal welfare foundation. Further information is available at michelsonmedical.org, 20MM.org, and foundanimals.org.

Photo: John Livzey

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Patricia Therese Illing, PhD
Fellow
Monash University
Spliced peptides: Novel candidates for effective influenza immunity?

Dr. Illing was the first to identify spliced peptides during a viral infection. This work involves an innovative new approach for identifying influenza-specific peptide antigens with implications for the development of vaccines against both seasonal and pandemic influenza strains. The Prize money will provide greater resources to expand understanding of how a viral antigen is recognized by the human immune system.

More on Patricia Therese Illing, PhD's work
Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD
Instructor
Stanford University School of Medicine
Epigenomic mechanisms of vaccine-induced immunity

Dr. Satpathy is focused on combining disciplines of genomics and human immunology. His research will identify key gene regulatory mechanisms that trigger protective immunity following vaccination using novel epigenomic sequencing technologies applied directly to patient samples. The Prize will allow him to greatly accelerate his work, advancing both 3D and single-cell epigenetic technologies to human immunology and vaccine research.

More on Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD's work
Laura Mackay, PhD
Laboratory Head and Senior Lecturer
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
Targeting tissue-resident immune cells for enhanced immune protection

Dr. MacKay is studying recently described subset of immune cells called tissue resident memory T cells, which combat various viral infections and cancer. The research that will be funded by the Prize will examine immune responses by tissue resident memory T cells to harness their protective functions to improve vaccines and immunotherapies.

More on Laura Mackay, PhD's work

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