Only two researchers in the world will be named a Gilead Sciences Research Scholar in Cystic Fibrosis, and one is Tulane University’s own assistant professor of medicine Christine Bojanowski, MD. The program recognizes and supports emerging investigators in several medical fields including hematological malignancies, solid tumors, HIV, liver disease, and anti-fungal research in addition to Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Under this award, Dr. Bojanowski will collaborate with Jay Kolls, MD, the John W. Deming Chair in Internal Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine and director of the school’s Center for Translational Research in Infection and Inflammation, which focuses on microbial infections in the lung, an area that is highly relevant to CF.
Dr. Bojanowski co-directs the Adult CF Program at Tulane. The Tulane CF Center has a strong legacy and was established in 1963 by Dr. William Waring as one of the earliest accredited and recognized programs in the country. As part of the CF Foundation Therapeutics Development Network (TDN), the Tulane Center is actively engaged in a large network that conducts multicenter clinical trials to improve patient outcomes in CF.
“We’re extremely proud of Dr. Bojanowski being named a Gilead Sciences Research Scholar,” says Dr. Lee Hamm, senior vice president and dean of Tulane School of Medicine. “Our CF Center was one of the first in the southern United States, and this is another acknowledgement of how it has helped transform the lives of patients with CF. As a physician-scientist Dr. Bojanowski is uniquely poised to conduct the research that will continue the centers legacy by deciphering the secrets of chronic infection in this patient population.”
The Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program was launched by Gilead in 2008 to advance scientific knowledge in areas of unmet medical needs and improve the lives of patients everywhere. The program provides two years of financial support to Dr. Bojanowski as an early-career scientist to help drive medical breakthroughs.
Dr. Bojanowski was one of just two researchers selected from an international pool of applicants, and will receive financial support up to $130,000 over two years.
Since the award’s inception 13 years ago, more than 200 scholars in 26 different countrie have received a Gilead Research Scholar Award -- and many prior recipients have emerged as leaders in their respective fields.
Dr. Bojanowski aims to better understand why certain people with CF are more likely to have persistent or recurrent infections.
“Chronic infection with Staphyloccus Aureus is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality particularly in the cystic fibrosis population,” Bojanowski said. “Rather than looking at this problem from only the Staphyloccus Aureus microbe specific factors, I am investigating what causes a patient, as a host, to not be able to clear the infection or be susceptible to repeated infections.”