NIAID’s Belkaid Receives Emil von Behring Prize
Dr. Yasmine Belkaid, chief of the mucosal immunology section in NIAID’s Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, was recently awarded the Emil von Behring Prize of Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany. The prize is presented biannually to commemorate Emil von Behring, who discovered the diphtheria antitoxin, implemented serum therapy and won the first Nobel Prize for medicine. The Behring Prize is awarded to scientists for extraordinary contributions to the fields of immunology, microbiology or virology and is one of Germany’s most distinguished scientific awards. Belkaid is the first female recipient.
“Yasmine is an extraordinarily talented and dedicated scientist,” said Ulrich Steinhoff of the Institute for Medical Microbiology of Philipps-Universität. “[She has] uncovered groundbreaking findings about our body’s most complicated immune system—the defense system of the mucosa.”
Belkaid obtained her Ph.D. in 1996 from the Pasteur Institute in France on innate responses to Leishmania infection. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at NIAID on immune regulation to infection, she joined the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati as an assistant professor in 2002. In 2005, she joined the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases and became a tenured investigator in 2008. Since 2007, she has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work explores the role of the microbiota and nutrition in the control of immunity to infection.—Claudia Wair