Heitman Receives ASCI Award

Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 American Society for Clinical Investigation’s (ASCI) Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award for his key contributions to the understanding of how eukaryotic microbial pathogens evolve, cause disease, and develop drug resistance; and his discovery of TOR and FKBP12 as targets of the immunosuppressive chemotherapeutic drug rapamycin. He will deliver the ASCI/Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award Lecture on April 20 at the AAP/ASCI/APSA Joint Meeting, to be held April 20 to 22 at the Fairmont Chicago. 

Heitman joined the faculty at Duke University School of Medicine in 1992, was named a James B. Duke Professor in 2004, and appointed Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in 2009. He was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1992 to 2005 and a Burroughs-Wellcome Scholar in Molecular Pathogenic Mycology from 1998 to 2005.  

Heitman has given prominent lectures, including the American Society for Microbiology Division F Lecture (2009), the Foundation Lecture for the British Society for Medical Mycology (2010), the Karling Lecture for the Mycological Society of America (2011), and the Max Delbrück Lecture for the German Genetics Society (2017); is an editor of PLOS Genetics, mBio, PLOS Pathogens, and Fungal Genetics and Biology; and has edited seven textbooks on fungal pathogens, evolution of eukaryotic microbial pathogens, genetics, and microbiology. Additionaly, he is an elected fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (2003), the ASCI (2003), the American Academy of Microbiology (2004), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004), and the Association of American Physicians (2006).

Heitman received his BS and MS degrees from the University of Chicago in 1984, his PhD from Rockefeller University in 1989, and his MD from Cornell University in 1992. From 1989 to 1991, he was a European Molecular Biology Organization postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum, in the laboratory of Michael N. Hall. Heitman has mentored numerous undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral and medical fellows, many of whom have developed independent careers in medicine and basic biomedical research. Among many others, John Perfect, Andrew Alspaugh, and William Steinbach have been key collaborators in studies on fungal pathogenesis and therapeutic exploration. 

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