Megan Baldridge, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Each awardee receives $500,000 over five years to support research projects that hold the potential to significantly advance understanding of how pathogens interact with the human body and how health is maintained.
Baldridge studies norovirus, rotavirus and astrovirus — highly infectious intestinal viruses that are major causes of diarrhea worldwide, especially in young children. Little is known about how these viruses get inside cells.
Baldridge will use a powerful new screening approach to identify proteins on the surface of cells that the viruses use to attach to and invade cells. Identifying such proteins will provide important insight into the viral life cycle, inform our understanding of how viral diarrhea develops, and permit the development of new tools to study the viruses in the lab.