Jenna Guthmiller, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Early Career Scientist Award.
The honor is given by CSL Seqirus in partnership with the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses (ESWI), a network organization that aims to reduce the burden of influenza and other acute respiratory viruses in Europe.
The award recognizes those who are emerging in the field of vaccines research with an invitation to speak at the annual ESWI conference and approximately $11,000 to support their research.
“I really appreciate receiving this award,” Guthmiller said in an interview with CSL Seqirus’ Chief Health Officer, Dr. Gregg Sylvester, and Dr. Kirsty Short, a past recipient of the award who is a virology research fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia. “I think it’s a really great opportunity to be in the context of this broader audience, both academia and industry, which I think is really exciting and I think ultimately we have a lot to learn from one another.”
Guthmiller is the third recipient of this annual award. In addition to Short, the award was won by Dr. Nicholas Wu, Assistant Professor at the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Both used their grant funds to support the continuation of either their own or their team’s studies.
Guthmiller plans to use the grant to build upon her most recent work, which zoomed in on human antibody responses against influenza viruses.
“What we’re planning to do with this award is to understand… how these pivotal early life infections in these pediatric cohorts actually imprint our immune response against viruses or influenza viruses essentially for the rest of our lives,” she said. “There’s this really outstanding question of why is it that this very first exposure really shapes how we respond in the future and there’s tons of epidemiological data to support that, so that’s one aim of it.”
Watch the video above to hear more about Guthmiller’s research endeavors and catch up with Short since receiving the Early Career Scientist Award back in 2020.