MB&B assistant professor, Dr. Allison Didychuk, recently received the DP2 New Innovator’s Award grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The New Innovator Award is given to newly independent early stage investigators who propose novel and creative research with broad impact relevant to the NIAID. Compared to other grants of similar standing, the DP2 award is a newer funding mechanism that aims to support high-risk, high-reward research. The Didychuk lab studies herpesviruses, large DNA viruses that commonly infect humans, with a focus on the cancer-causing Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Their current research centers on viral genome packaging and late gene transcription. With this grant providing $1.5M over five years, the Didychuk lab plans to further their understanding of herpesvirus’ genome packaging process using a combination of biochemistry, viral genetics and structural biology. Specifically, the Didychuk lab plans to elucidate the role of ORF68, a viral accessory factor that is unique to and essential for herpesviruses.
The department would like to congratulate the Didychuk lab for this exciting award and funding opportunity, and wish them luck as they begin their research.
By Shravani Balaji