Virologist Autumn Holmes, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named a Hanna H. Gray Fellow by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The fellowship provides up to $1.4 million over eight years to outstanding early-career scientists. Its aim is to help those with the potential to solve major challenges in the life sciences make the transition to becoming principal investigators.
Holmes’ research focuses on finding new therapies for emerging infectious diseases such as chikungunya. Transmitted by mosquito bite, chikungunya virus causes debilitating, often chronic arthritis in people. While chikungunya is still mostly confined to tropical parts of the planet, the mosquito species that carry the virus are likely to expand their range over the next few decades due to climate change.
Working with Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine, Holmes is examining how chikungunya virus enters cells and begins the infection process in mice. Read more on the School of Medicine site.