PHILADELPHIA - Kellie Ann Jurado, PhD, has joined the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as a Presidential Assistant Professor of Microbiology. Jurado’s research examines how the immune system interacts with viral infections. Her current work investigates the abnormal immune response during Zika virus infection, including how the immune system reacts to Zika in the brain.
As a new Penn faculty member, Jurado will continue her research on Zika virus pathogenesis and how antigen-presenting cells shape T cell responses in the central nervous system. She will also start on a new line of inquiry exploring the enterovirus D68, an emerging and important viral infection that causes a polio-like disease in children. The research is expected to provide clues about how this virus attacks the body.
Jurado is the recipient of several major grants and fellowships, including the L'Oréal Women in Science Fellowship, the Charles H. Revson Senior Fellowship in Biomedical Science, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship. She was named a 2018 "Wunderkind” by the life sciences publication STAT. She received her PhD in virology from Harvard University and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.
Jurado grew up in a small town in New Mexico where her family engages in chile pepper farming and business. Guided by her own experiences as a first-generation doctoral student who did not meet a scientist until college, Jurado gives back to the community by mentoring students at Harvard and Yale and within underserved middle and high schools in the New Haven/Bridgeport area. She has also engaged in community outreach by educating communities there about the HPV vaccine. The Hartford Courant has named her a Hometown Hero for these activities.
The Presidential Professorships are five-year term chairs, awarded by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann to outstanding scholars, whose appointments to the standing faculty are approved by the Provost and who demonstrably contribute excellence and diversity to Penn’s inclusive community.
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